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One Gene to Rule Them All

Without DNA recombination and mutation, humans would all be the same, says the University of Leicester's Alec Jeffreys. Jeffreys — who invented DNA fingerprinting in the 1980s — and his team have recently discovered the gene they think is responsible for DNA recombination, writes the New Scientist's Andy Coghlan. The gene, called PR domain-containing 9, makes an enzyme that locks onto DNA and recombines it when sperm eggs develop from germ cells, Coghlan says. Jeffreys says there's a lot of variation in Prdm9, which means some people get a major reshuffling while others only get light variation, Coghlan writes. The researchers found 24 new variants in the gene to add to the five that had previously been discovered.

The Scan

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Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.