European Science Foundation

By Julia Karow
In an effort to unravel the genetics of monogenic forms of epilepsy, a consortium of researchers in Europe has embarked on the Genetics of Rare Epilepsy Syndromes project.

Calling for greater funding from governments, academia, nonprofits, and the private sector, the report said "recent years have witnessed an unprecedented gain of knowledge from" RNA research, yet Europe has "only has a few centers specifically funded to RNA research."

The European Science Foundation said it envisions the institute consisting of locally-funded, multidisciplinary centers with research groups in disciplines, such as biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics, bioinformatics, biophysics, structural analysis, microbiology, plant sciences, and clinical medicine.

The BBSRC and EPSRC have granted over $2 million to support synthetic biology projects involving UK/Europe collaborations.

Though many details have yet to be worked out, the draft deal for the UK's withdrawal from the EU is giving researchers some hints for what they can expect, Nature News says.

DNA testing has solved a 100-year-old mystery contained in the skull and teeth samples of a now-extinct monkey that once inhabited Jamaica, Gizmodo reports.

As the UN ponders a ban on gene drives, one malaria researcher says there are less dramatic ways to fight the disease in Africa than unleashing GM mosquitoes on a whole continent.

In Nature this week: an improved reference genome of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, genomes of four species of truffles, and more.