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This Week in Science: Feb 13, 2009

Science's news section focuses on the recent announcement of a draft Neandertal genome from Svante Pääbo's group. Pääbo tells Science that this 1x coverage is just a milestone and that his team plans to work on getting a higher-quality genome over the next few years. ("We're going to sequence things much deeper, get 15 to 20 times coverage," Pääbo tells Wired.) Pääbo, however, isn't the only one working on the Neandertal genome -- Eddy Rubin's group at JGI is focusing on sequencing targeted regions to uncover whether differences between their genome and that of humans in these spots are real or just due to individual variation. For those needing a brush-up on Neandertal history, Science also includes a review. And for your civilian friends, there's a New York Times story about the news as well.

Over in Science Express, Stephen Liggett's group reports that it has sequenced and analyzed all the known human rhinoviruses, 99 serotypes in total. From the genome sequences, the group was able to parse out conserved motifs, divvy the cold family tree into three species, and possibly a fourth, HRV-D, and see that a 5' UTR may confer virulence. At Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong writes, "Now, we have a better idea about the genetic features behind this variation and that provides an invaluable framework to build future research around."

Also in the early section, UCSF researchers led by Jonathan Weissman discuss a new ribosomal profiling method based on the deep sequencing of mRNA fragments still attached to the ribosome. They say it should give a more accurate picture of what is being translated. With their strategy, the researchers monitored translation in yeast under both starving and rich conditions and saw translational control in response to the environmental conditions.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.