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This Week in Cell: Dec 5, 2013

Stanford University researchers used cell-free DNA sequencing to profile microbes present in more than 650 blood samples from 96 recent heart or lung transplant recipients over the span of two years. In the process, they identified sequences from an opportunistic viral pathogen in the anelloviridae family that appears to take hold in the bloodstream when a transplant recipient's immune system is dampened by anti-rejection drugs. On the other hand, the team found lower anellovirus levels in the subset of patients who experienced organ rejection, hinting that blood-based tracking of the virus may offering an avenue for better personalizing that post-transplant therapy.

GenomeWeb Daily News has more on the study, here.

Using exome and genome sequence data for hundreds of tumors profiled for The Cancer Genome Atlas, a team from the US and Korea mapped microsatellite instability patterns in colorectal and endometrial cancers. Computational analyses of sequences generated for 147 individuals with colorectal cancer and 130 endometrial cancer patients offered a look at how often MSI occurred in tumors from these cancer types, together with their mutational and functional effects. The researchers detected some tumor-specific patterns amongst the recurrent MSI sites, for example, as well as difference in the distribution of MSI-related alterations across the genome relative to point mutations.