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This Week in Genome Biology: Oct 20, 2010

In a Genome Biology paper published online in advance this week, researchers at Penn State University and their colleagues suggest Eschscholzia californica as a reference tool for floral evolutionary development studies. Using comparative transcriptomics via expressed sequenced tag set on microarrays, the team identified "differentially expressed genes in flower buds with pre-meiotic and meiotic cells, four floral organs at pre-anthesis stages (sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels), developing fruits, and leaves," which they say "provide a foundation for comparative gene expression studies between eudicots and basal angiosperms."

A team led by investigators at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute reports the "first paired-end sequencing of tumors from genetically engineered mouse models of ... Trp53-mutated breast cancer, Brca1- and Brca2-associated hereditary breast cancer, and E-cadherin-mutated lobular breast cancer," which they performed in an effort "to determine how faithfully these models recapitulate the landscape of somatic rearrangements found in human tumors," they write. The team found that the mouse models, while they showed "significant heterogeneity in their profiles," also showed "fewer rearrangements than cognate human mammary tumors," the authors write.

Nils Homer and Stanley Nelson at the University of California, Los Angeles, describe a method for "improved variant discovery through local realignment of short-read next-generation sequencing data using SRMA." As with other alignment approaches, Homer and Nelson's approach maps each short read to the reference genome independently, however it leverages the correlation between "reads that observe the same non-reference DNA sequence" via a micro re-aligner, SRMA.

Also in Genome Biology this week, invited speakers from the recent Beyond the Genome meeting held in Boston present recaps of their talks. The University of Maryland's Mihaela Pertea and Steven Salzberg justify their estimation that the human gene count is 22,333, which puts the human genome somewhere between those of a chicken and a grape.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more