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This Week in Cell: Jul 2, 2014

A team from the US and UK introduce a mass spec-based proteomic approach known as quantitative temporal viromics, or QTV, that it used for characterizing proteins in the human cytomegalovirus over different stages of infection. The multiplexed tandem-mass-tag-based method identified more than 8,000 cellular proteins in HCMV — a set that includes possible treatment targets and proteins prone to interactions with the innate and adaptive immune pathways in the host. As such, the study's authors argue that "QTV is a powerful method that can yield important insights into viral infection and is applicable to any virus with a robust in vitro model."

A Cell review outlines the genome engineering capabilities of the CRISPR-associated RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9. Researchers from the Broad Institute, MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and Harvard University highlight steps that have been taken to harness the targeted sequence editing skills of Cas9, a component of a bacterial defense system. They also describe research arenas in which this genome editing may be advantageous, along with challenges yet to be resolved when applying Cas9 genome editing.

Finally, Harvard Medical School researchers describe chromatin components involved in regulating divergent non-coding transcripts produced from RNA polymerase II promoters in the yeast. Using fluorescent reporter constructs, the team conducted experiments that involved swapping sequences for one gene body into a region adjacent to the promoter of another. Results of the experiments indicated that components of a chromatin assembly factor 1 pathway negatively regulate divergent transcription initiation, while factors facilitating nucleosome turnover appeared to boost divergent transcription.

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Develops Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.