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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

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.