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This Week in Genome Biology: Jan 5, 2012

In a paper published online in advance in Genome Biology, the University of Surrey's Tom Mendum and his colleagues present a representative Tn5 library for Neisseria meningitidis, which they used to investigate the metabolism of the human commensal and pathogen. The team created a genome-scale metabolic network, which it says "was able to distinguish essential and non-essential genes as predicted by the global mutagenesis." Overall, Mendum et al. say their study shows that the "application of a genome scale transposon library combined with an experimentally validated genome-scale metabolic network of N. meningitidis to identify essential genes and provide novel insight to the pathogen's metabolism both in vitro and during infection."

A public-private team led by investigators at the University of Queensland and at Life Technologies this week shows that isomiRs "share sequence and expression characteristics with canonical miRNAs, and are generally strongly correlated with canonical miRNA expression." In addition, the authors write, they are "biologically relevant and functionally cooperative partners of canonical miRNAs that act coordinately to target pathways of functionally related genes."

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.