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This Week in Genome Research: Jun 27, 2012

In a paper published online in advance in Genome Research this week, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science report having reconstructed the content of the CRISPR bacterial immune system in the human gut microbiomes of 124 European individuals, and then having used that "to identify a catalogue of 991 phages targeted by CRISPR across all individuals," they write. The Weizmann team reports that "a significant fraction of phages … are shown to exist in fecal samples previously derived from American and Japanese individuals, identifying a common reservoir of phages frequently associated with the human gut microbiome." Overall, the team says, its results "imply that phage-bacterial attack-resistance interactions occur within the human gut microbiome, possibly affecting microbiota composition and human health."

And in another paper published online in advance, the California Institute of Technology's Barbara Wold and her colleagues report on their construction of global functional maps to identify regulatory targets of unc-120 or hlh-1 — two major regulators of Caenorhabditis elegans body wall muscle differentiation — via RNA-seq, to determine HLH-1 occupancy using ChIP-seq, and to identify additional HLH-1 collaborating transcription factors. Overall, Wold et al. report having found "760 genes [that] are significant regulatory targets of both hlh-1 and unc-120, but each factor has a larger number of unique targets." Further, the researchers showed that strongly tissue-specific factors broadly contribute to the transcriptional output of muscle tissue in the nematode.

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.