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People in the News : Jun 26, 2009

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Lukas Burger has received the 2009 Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Young Bioinformatician Award, which was presented at the Basel Computational Biology Conference earlier this month.

Burger has spent four years in Erik van Nimwegen's lab in the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Group at the University of Basel's Biozentrum. His recently completed doctoral work focused on predicting physical interactions between protein residues using sequence data and multiple sequence alignments of similar proteins.

His Bayesian network approach characterizes protein sequences and can predict intra- and interprotein interactions with "greatly improved accuracy," SIB said in a statement. The introduced methodology helps to describe these interdependencies "in a statistically sound and efficient way."

Julien Roux, a PhD student in Marc Robinson-Rechavi's evolutionary bioinformatics group at the University of Lausanne, won the 2009 SIB best graduate paper for "Developmental Constraints on Vertebrate Genome Evolution," published in the December 2008 issue of PLoS Genetics.

The paper is an "important contribution to the general understanding of evolution," SIB said.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.