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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

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.