Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Sequence Alignment in Six Easy Steps

At his blog, Buried Treasure, Lars Juhl Jensen discusses two papers that point out possible mistakes in the current, and commonly used, sequence alignment techniques. The papers, published in Science and Nature Biotechnology, describe how uncertainties in multiple alignments can lead to errors in different phylogenetic trees, and discover that the most commonly used substitution matrix, BLOSUM62, was calculated wrongly. Jensen details his own methods of how to avoid mistakes, including using programs like "Gblocks to remove the ambiguous parts of their alignments before moving on to constructing phylogenetic trees," he writes. "Upon casual reading of these publications, one could get the idea that over a decade of work based on alignments, sequence similarity searches, and molecular evolution is wrong. Fortunately, this does not appear to be the case."

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.