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Survival Through Genomic Shapeshifting

In a collaboration led by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute, scientists sequenced the genome of the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa and then compared two strains isolated from cystic fibrosis, describing their findings in this PNAS paper. A hallmark of this pathogen is its ability to survive in many different host environments, and the researchers found that this results from having a "mosaic genome" composed of a core and regions where whole sections are variable. This plasticity, the scientists write, is a large evolutionary force in molding bacterial genomes.


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.