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A New Way to Classify Bacteria

Jonathan Eisen is happy to have published a new paper in Genome Biology, and Larry Moran thinks it's a good one. The authors, including Martin Wu, have written a software tool called AMPHORA that "can be used to build phylogenetic trees based on concatenated alignments of housekeeping proteins and also for metagenomic phylotyping using a diversity of protein markers." The gold standard of bacterial phylogeny, the SSU rRNA gene, isn't all that great for classifying bacterial species, says Moran. Eisen's method "resolves many groups that are unresolvable using the SSU rRNA tree. In some cases this tree reveals species that have been incorrectly assigned to higher taxa," he writes at Sandwalk.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.