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The US National Human Genome Research Institute this week announced its proposed structural reorganization, which would expand the institute from its current two divisions to a total of seven. As our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reports, NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research would remain "essentially unchanged," while its Office of the Director would be split into the Division of Policy, Communications, and Education and the Division of Management under the new plan. The institute's Division of Extramural Research, meanwhile, would branch into four new divisions: the Division of Genome Sciences, the Division of Genomic Medicine, the Division of Genomics and Society, and the Division of Extramural Operations, NHGRI says. In a statement, Director Eric Green says his institute needs "a management structure that is suitably configured for our current research portfolio — the proposed reorganization will provide that."

NHGRI will hold two public meetings to discuss its proposed reorganization on January 18 and February 13.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.