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‘Not a Fruit Fly, Not a Beetle’

Researchers have sequenced the genome of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, and have reported their findings in PLoS Biology this week. The International Aphid Genomics Consortium writes that the pea aphid genome appears to have more coding genes than previously sequenced insects, but a precise gene count and further functional annotation of the genome is needed. Stephen Richards, assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a statement that “because this is a different kind of insect ― not a fruit fly, not a beetle, not a hymenoptera ― we are seeing things that people have not seen in other projects.” The pea aphid is one of approximately 5,000 aphid species.

The Scan

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.

Tibetan Study Finds Adaptive Variant Influencing Skin Pigmentation

With a combination of phenotyping and genetic data, researchers document at PNAS a Tibetan-enriched enhancer variant influencing melanin synthesis and ultraviolet light response.

Domestication Linked to Nervous System Genes in Inbred Mouse Strains

Researchers highlighted more than 300 positively selected genes in domesticated mice, including genes linked to nervous system function or behavior in Genome Biology.

ALS Genetic Testing May Be Informative Across Age Ranges, Study Finds

Researchers in the journal Brain identified clinically actionable variants in a significant subset of older ALS patients, prompting them to point to the potential benefits of broader test use.