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This Week in Genome Research: Mar 7, 2012

In a paper published online in advance in Genome Research this week, a team led by investigators at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine shows that "DNA-hypermethylation preferentially targets the subset of PcG genes that are developmental regulators, and this may contribute to the stem-like state of cancer." The team also says that "the capacity for global methylation profiling to cluster tumors by phenotype may have important implications for further refining tumor behavior patterns that may ultimately aid therapeutic interventions."

The Medical University of Vienna's Yamile Marquez and her colleagues report having sequenced and mapped at high-coverage an Arabidopsis transcriptome, through which they detected approximately 150,000 splice junctions "derived mostly from typical plant introns, including an eight-fold increase in the number of U12 introns." In addition, the team identified "extensive AS [alternative splicing] coupled to nonsense-mediated decay in AFC2, encoding a highly conserved LAMMER kinase which phosphorylates splicing factors, thus establishing a complex loop in AS regulation."

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.