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This Week in Genome Research: Jan 20, 2010

In the early, online version of Genome Research, University of Georgia researcher Shaying Zhao and her colleagues report on their search for copy number changes in ten colorectal cancers from dogs. Using array comparative genomic hybridization, the team identified changes affecting similar pathways in human and dog cancers as well as species specific changes. "These findings indicate that [copy number alterations] recurrent between human and dog [colorectal cancers] may have a higher probability of being cancer-causative, compared with [copy number alterations] found in one species only," they write.

David Reich and his co-workers describe their method for finding selective sweeps in the genome using allele frequency differentiation between human populations. When they applied the approach to data from various human populations, the team explains, they turned up potential selection targets involving known and previously unidentified loci.

NCBI and University of Chicago researchers developed a method for finding cis-regulatory elements in various tissues, using sequence features to come up with a classifier that identified more than 40,000 new enhancers involved in human heart development. "These results support the existence of underlying cis-regulatory codes dictating tissue-specific transcription in mammalian genomes and validate our enhancer strategy as a method to uncover these regulatory codes," they write.

In a review article, Rasmus Nielson and his team discuss the transition of population genetics research from a theoretical to a data driven field, focusing on the promise and potential problems associated with using sequence variation in whole genome sequence data to look at human population histories, natural selection, and more.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.