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All the Bugs

Dr Jim of Mental Indigestion has a two-part series on the human microbiome. In part I, he focuses on the diversity of the gut microbiome and points out studies that show that lean and obese mice have different gut microbiota. He also discusses probiotics, writing that “there is some evidence to suggest they may be of benefit, but on the whole, evidence is lacking and more research is certainly warranted." In part II, Dr Jim looks at the skin microbiome. Two studies from the Gallo lab at the University of California, San Diego, he says “provide a tantalising case for the benefits we may receive from components of our skin microbiome.”

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.