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Around the Literature


Soybean Genome

Schmutz J, Cannon S, Schlueter J, Ma
J, et al. (2010). Genome sequence of the palaeopolyploid soybean. Nature. (463): 178-183.

A large team comprised of researchers from Purdue University, the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, and the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service used whole-genome shotgun sequencing to sequence roughly 85 percent of the 1.1-gigabase soybean, Glycine max, genome. The paper describes how the team integrated the shotgun approach with physical and high-density genetic maps to assemble a chromosome-scale draft sequence. The team predicted 46,430 protein-coding genes, 70 percent more than another polyploid, Arabidposis thaliana.

Reproducible Research System

Mesirov JP. (2010). Accessible reproducible research. Science. 327(5964): 415-416.

Mesirov proposes a novel model for embedding bioinformatics workflows directly into published research papers. The model outlined in the paper is called the Reproducible Research System (RRS) and is comprised of a Reproducible Research Environment — a framework that provides computational tools and the ability to track and package data, analyses, and results — and a document-preparation system called the Reproducible Research Publisher. She used the Broad Institute's GenePattern along with Microsoft Word and embedded the informatics analysis pipelines into Word, allowing the author to link text, tables, and figures to executed pipelines.

Synthetic Genome-Wide Associations

Dickson SP, Wang K, Krantz I, Hakonarson H, and Goldstein DB (2010). Rare variants create synthetic genome-wide associations. PLoS Biology. 8(1): e1000294.

In this paper, Dickson and his colleagues use computer simulations to show the conditions under which "synthetic associations" arise and how they may be recognized. The authors show that these associations are not only possible, but inevitable, and that under simple but reasonable genetic models, they are likely to account for or contribute to many of the recently identified signals reported in genome-wide association studies. The paper concludes that careful consideration in the interpretation and follow-up of GWAS signals is required because uncommon genetic variants can easily create synthetic associations that are connected to common variants.

Integrated Genomic Analysis of GBM

Verhaak RGW, Hoadley KA, Purdom E, Wang V, et al. (2010). Integrated genomic analysis identifies clinically relevant subtypes of glioblastoma characterized by abnormalities in PDGFRA, IDH1, EGFR, and NF1. Cancer Cell. 17(1): 98-110.

This paper describes a robust gene expression-based molecular classification of giloblastoma multiforme into proneural, neural, classical, and mesenchymal subtypes and integrates multidimensional genomic data to establish patterns of somatic mutations and DNA copy number. All subtypes have different responses to aggressive therapy response, with the greatest benefit seen in the classical subtype and no benefit in the proneural subtype. Through this approach, the authors provide a framework that unifies transcriptomic and genomic dimensions for GBM molecular stratification.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.