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Sequencing-Related NSF Grants Awarded May 22 — June 18, 2007


Computational Comparative Genomic Approaches to Identifying Functional and Neutral DNA
Start date: June 1, 2007
Expires: May 31, 2008
Awarded amount to date: $50,000
Principal investigator: Jeffrey Chuang
Sponsor: Boston College
Supports a project that will perform computational sequence analyses to characterize the neutral mutation rate in several large eukaryotic phylogenies, including mammals, flies, and yeasts. Specific aims include “measurement of the neutral background in diverse phylogenies, determination of conservation of neutral mutation patterns across species, and measurement of the relationship between segmental duplication and mutation,” according to the grant abstract. The grantees note that more than 300 eukaryotic genomes have been “almost completely sequenced,” and that these sequences are a “fertile resource for understanding the evolutionary processes that have acted on living things.”

Bacterioplankton Genomic Adaptations to Antarctic Winter
Start date: June 15, 2007
Expires: May 31, 2010
This grant was awarded to two investigative teams:
  • Marine Biological Laboratory. Principal investigator: Hugh Ducklow. Awarded amount to date: $230,530
  • University of Nevada Desert Research Institute. Principal investigator: Alison Murray. Awarded amount to date: $466,622
Proposal to characterize the winter bacterioplankton genome, transcriptome, and proteome, and discover those features that are essential to winter bacterioplankton survival in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. The project involves a team of international researchers, including a group from the British Antarctic Survey's ocean metagenome program and US and Canadian scientists studying the Arctic Ocean genome. Data will be available here.

Electronic Recognition of Gene Regulatory Proteins Bound to DNA
Start date: Aug. 1, 2007
Expires: July 31, 2008
Awarded amount to date: $195,000
Principal investigator: Amit Meller
Sponsor: Trustees of Boston University
Proposal to use solid-state nanopores to recognize and characterize transcription factors bound to genomic DNA. “Nanopores have been extensively used to characterize DNA translocation, DNA and RNA unzipping, and DNA-enzyme interactions, at the single molecule level,” according to the grant abstract. The awardees intend to extend these methods to map the interactions of regulatory proteins with DNA.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.