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This Week in Cell : Jul 11, 2012

In Cell Reports this week, researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine discuss their bioinformatics-based search for structural elements in the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus genome, through which they found six expression and nuclear retention element-like elements. In turn, the identification of these elements "enabled the discovery of PAN RNA homologs in two additional gammaherpesviruses, RRV and EHV2," the researchers write, adding that their study shows "searching for structural elements can lead to rapid identification of lncRNAs."

Over in Molecular Cell, investigators at France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique — CNRS — describe their generation of knockout mice for MCM8 and MCM9 and show that "deficiency for these genes impairs homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair during gametogenesis and somatic cells cycles."

In a separate but related paper in the same journal, researchers at Japan's National Institute of Genetics show that the replicative helicase-related Mcm family of proteins, including Mcm8 and Mcm9, forms a complex required for homologous recombination repair induced by DNA interstrand crosslinks.

And in Trends in Molecular Medicine this week, Emory University School of Medicine's Chunhui Xu discusses recent studies reporting on the direct conversion of cardiac fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes in vivo. "This is accomplished by delivering transcription factors or microRNAs to the mouse heart and may represent a new avenue for regenerative cardiac therapy," Xu says.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.