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Computerized Genome

In a new study in Cell, researchers at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute describe their computer model of the world's smallest bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium, reports Popular Science's Colin Lecher. The model, which the researchers say is the first complete computer model of any living organism, is based on more than 900 studies of M. genitalium. M. genitalium has a small genome with 525 genes. "Researchers tallied the number of experimentally determined parameters in the model at more than 1,900; those were split up into 28 algorithms, which stepped in for biological processes," Lercher says. "The process might one day mean biologists could test hypotheses that wouldn't normally be possible in the real world, and it could expand into models of larger creatures." However, he notes, there's a few thousand genes of space between M. genitalium and humans.

The Scan

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.

Machine Learning Improves Diagnostic Accuracy of Breast Cancer MRI, Study Shows

Combining machine learning with radiologists' interpretations further increased the diagnostic accuracy of MRIs for breast cancer, a Science Translational Medicine paper finds.

Genome Damage in Neurons Triggers Alzheimer's-Linked Inflammation

Neurons harboring increased DNA double-strand breaks activate microglia to lead to neuroinflammation like that seen in Alzheimer's disease, a new Science Advances study finds.

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.