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This Week in Nature: Jun 10, 2010

In an advance, online publication of Nature this week, an international research team reports "the genome-wide structure of the Jewish people." The researchers used high-density bead arrays to genotype individuals from 14 Jewish diaspora communities and when compared with the patterns of genome-wide diversity from 69 non-Jewish populations, the team distinguished "the variegated genetic architecture of the Middle East, and trace the origins of most Jewish Diaspora communities to the Levant."

Another Nature paper published online in advance outlines the "functional impact of global rare copy-number variation in autism spectrum disorders." Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and their colleagues analyzed the genome-wide characteristics of rare copy number variants using dense genotyping arrays. They found that, ASD individuals, when compared with matched controls, carried a "higher global burden of rare, genic copy number variants ... especially so for loci previously implicated in either ASD and/or intellectual disability."

In a Nature Genetics paper published online this week, investigators in Singapore write that "transposable elements contributed up to 25 percent of the bound sites in humans and mice and have wired new genes into the core regulatory network of embryonic stem cells." In examining the genome-wide binding locations of the genes encoding OCT4, NANOG, and CTCF, in mouse embryonic stem cells, the authors "found that the binding profiles of OCT4 and NANOG are markedly different, with only [about] 5 percent of the regions being homologously occupied," they write.

Meanwhile, in Nature Reviews Genetics, a trio of researchers at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine says that while "epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and genomics each provide an insightful" outlook, their purviews are one-dimensional. "Integrative analysis promises a unified, global view," they write. Of course, the amount of information being generated from diverse platforms poses "multiple challenges for data access and processing." The authors discuss potential solutions to such challenges in their review.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.