Boston Blog

News roundup: Reviewing the review of the BU biolab; HapMap II

The controversy over the BU high-security infectious disease lab now under construction continues. According to the Globe, a state environmental office is paying the National Research Council to review a review done by the NIH, which said the lab wouldn’t pose a danger to nearby residents. Critics of that NIH review said that it didn’t take into account the possible impact of an accidental release of more contagious pathogens.

The Globe says the results of this latest review should be out by the end of next month.



This week’s _Nature_ published the second, more complete version of the “HapMap”:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7164/full/nature06258.html, which maps out more than 3.1 million SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms or single letter changes in the DNA code) in the genomes of 270 people. Researchers from the Broad are among the leaders of the “International HapMap Consortium.”:http://www.hapmap.org/

The news section of _Nature_ has a nice “roundup”:http://www.nature.com/news/2007/071017/full/449762a.html that places this all into context. The HapMap was also used to “identify”:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7164/full/nature06250.html genes that have undergone natural selection. The lead author of this paper (also in this week’s Nature), Pardis Sabeti of the Broad Institute, was the subject of a “profile”:http://network.nature.com/boston/news/Profile/2007/07/31/science-meets-mtv on NNB a while back.

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