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This Week in Genome Biology: Dec 30, 2009

In Genome Biology online this week, an American team used genotyping — along with statistical and computational approaches — to look at African ancestry admixture patterns in 230 African Americans from the Human Genome Diversity Panel or participating in the ADVANCE study and 38 European Americans from ADVANCE. The researchers reported that African Americans had admixed African ancestry — mainly from West and West-Central Africa. And, they say, "the genetic architecture of African Americans is distinct from Africans, and the greatest source of potential genetic stratification bias in case control studies of African Americans derives from the proportion of European ancestry."

University of Freiburg researcher Stefan Rensing and his co-workers reviewed a group of eukaryotic homeobox-containing transcription factor genes found specifically in plants. The team touched on gene expression, functional, and phylogenetic studies of the WUS homeobox, or WOX genes, discussing the role of these genes in a range of important plant developmental processes and highlighting likely areas of future research on the WOX protein family.

Meanwhile, a review by Czech and Belgian researchers focused on another plant protein family: the PIN-FORMED or PIN family of auxin transporters, which act as secondary transporters in multicellular plants to help oust the signaling molecule from cells and regulate auxin distribution. That, in turn, impacts a slew of developmental processes, they explained.

And a meeting report by a group of researchers from Paris and Baltimore provided information about the goings-on at the EMBO Comparative Genomics of Eukaryotic Microorganisms meeting, held in Spain in mid-October. "New technology, such as high-throughput sequencing now allows less well studied eukaryotic microbes to come into the limelight," they write, "providing some fascinating glimpses into the eukaryotic world that lies outside multicellular plants and animals."

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.