Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nature: Oct 14, 2010

In Nature this week, investigators at Wayne State University and Yale University report their analysis of Mss116-mediated group II intron folding via single-molecule fluorescence. They determined that the molecule "stimulates dynamic sampling between states along the folding pathway" and "promotes folding through discrete ATP-independent and ATP-dependent steps." From their data, the team suggests that Mss116 initiates a multi-step process, involving "electrostatic stabilization of early intermediates and ATP hydrolysis during the final stages of native state assembly," for group II intron folding.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington's Cynthia Wagner and her colleagues show in Nature this week that "xnd-1 regulates the global recombination landscape in Caenorhabditis elegans." Specifically, Wagner et al. describe xnd-1 as a novel chromatin factor responsible for crossover distribution and double-strand breaks on the X. To their surprise, the team found that ZND-1 protein is autosomally enriched. They report that "xnd-1 functions independently of genes required for X chromosome-specific gene silencing."

In Nature Methods this week, Daniel Gibson and his colleagues at the J. Craig Venter Institute present a "one-step, isothermal assembly method for synthesizing DNA molecules from overlapping oligonucleotides," which they've used the produce a synthetic "16.3-kilobase mouse mitochondrial genome from 600 overlapping 60-mers." Our sister publication, GenomeWeb Daily News, has more on this study, here.

Two papers appearing online in Nature Genetics this week examine the genetics of body mass index and fat distribution. A team led by investigators at the Broad Institute reports 18 novel loci associated with BMI, which they identified in their interrogation of genome-wide data from nearly 250,000 individuals. In a meta-analysis, an international research team found 13 novel loci associated with waist-hip ratio and evidence for "sexual dimorphism in the genetic basis of fat distribution," they write. GWDN has more on both papers, here.

The Scan

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.

Machine Learning Improves Diagnostic Accuracy of Breast Cancer MRI, Study Shows

Combining machine learning with radiologists' interpretations further increased the diagnostic accuracy of MRIs for breast cancer, a Science Translational Medicine paper finds.

Genome Damage in Neurons Triggers Alzheimer's-Linked Inflammation

Neurons harboring increased DNA double-strand breaks activate microglia to lead to neuroinflammation like that seen in Alzheimer's disease, a new Science Advances study finds.

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.