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This Week in Cell: Aug 8, 2012

Sylvain Lapan and Peter Reddienat at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., this week report on the complete transcriptome of the eye of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Writing in Cell Reports, Lapan and Reddienat show that transcription factor Ovo is required for eye formation in S. mediterranea and add that the "planarian eye expresses orthologs of eye disease genes."

Over in Molecular Cell, scientists at the University of Zurich discuss noncanonical mis-match repair, specifically how it may play a role in genomic instability and cancer.

In Cell Stem Cell, a team led by investigators at the University of Rochester in New York highlights what it calls cooperation response genes, which represent regulators of leukemia stem cell growth and survival. In its study, the Rochester-led team shows that "the CRG [cooperation response genes] expression profile can be used as a drug discovery tool for identification of compounds that selectively target the LSC [leukemia stem cell] population."

And in Cell Host and Microbe, an international team led by investigators at Georgia State University shows that a "transient inability to manage proteobacteria promotes chronic gut inflammation in TLR5-deficient mice." More specifically, the GSU-led team shows that "an innate immune deficiency can result in unstable gut microbiota associated with low-grade inflammation, and harboring proteobacteria can drive and/or instigate chronic colitis."

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.