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Claire Fraser-Liggett, Steven St. Peter, Victor Ambros, Walter Gilbert

Claire Fraser-Liggett and Steven St. Peter will give up their posts as directors of Helicos BioSciences following the annual meeting of Helicos stockholders on May 22, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Neither Dr. Fraser-Liggett’s nor Dr. St. Peter’s decision not to stand for re-election was the result of a disagreement with the company on any matter related to its operations, policies, or practices,” according to the filing.

Victor Ambros will receive the 2008 Gairdner International Award. He is a professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Ambros shares the award with Gary Ruvkun, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. The award, sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, recognizes “outstanding contributions by medical scientists worldwide whose work will significantly improve the quality of life.” Ambros and Ruvkun will also receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in life sciences. Ambros, in 1993, discovered the first microRNA. He is an early-access collaborator of Helicos Biosciences.


Walter Gilbert has joined the award committee for the Prix Galien USA, a prize for biopharmaceutical research. He is a professor emeritus at Harvard University and founder of Biogen. In 1980, Gilbert won the Nobel Prize for chemistry for developing a DNA sequencing technology, which he shared with Paul Berg and Frederick Sanger.

The Scan

Unwrapping Mummies' Faces

LiveScience reports that Parabon NanoLabs researchers have reconstructed how three Egyptian mummies may have looked.

Study on Hold

The Spectrum 10K study has been put on hold due to a backlash, leading the researchers to conduct consultations with the autism community, Nature News reports.

Others Out There Already

Reuters reports that Sanofi is no longer developing an mRNA-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

PNAS Papers on GWAS False Discovery, PRAMEF2 Role in Tumorigenesis, RNA Virus Reverse Genetics

In PNAS this week: strategy to account for GWAS false-discovery rates, role of PRAMEF2 in cancer development, and more.