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This Week in Nature: May 19, 2011

In a paper published online in advance in Nature this week, a public-private collaboration in Germany reports its "global quantification of mammalian gene expression control" by simultaneously measuring "absolute mRNA and protein abundance and turnover by parallel metabolic pulse labeling for more than 5,000 genes in mammalian cells." The team also reports a genome-scale prediction of synthesis rates for mRNAs and proteins.

Researchers at Genentech this week show that the ubiquitin ligase COP1 is a tumor suppressor that negatively regulates ETV1, ETV4, and ETV5 — proto-oncogenes that encode transcription factors in the E26 transformation-specific family. In its Nature paper published online in advance, the researchers also report that some "rare human prostate cancer samples showed hemizygous loss of the COP1 gene, loss of COP1 protein, and elevated ETV1 protein while lacking a translocation event," all of which provide support for their suggestion that the down-regulation of the tumor suppressor COP1 "promotes prostatic epithelial cell proliferation and tumorigenesis."

The University of Washington School of Medicine's Brian O'Roak et al. report online in Nature Genetics their use of exome sequencing on 20 individuals with sporadic autism and their parents, through which they identified "21 de novo mutations, 11 of which were protein altering." Overall, the team says that its study shows that "trio-based exome sequencing is a powerful approach for identifying new candidate genes for ASDs [autism spectrum disorders]." Our sister publication Clinical Sequencing News has more on this study.

A team led by investigators at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo reports on its identification of common variants associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure variation in East Asians through a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. The team writes in Nature Genetics that its meta-analysis implicates four new loci — ST7L-CAPZA1, FIGN-GRB14,ENPEP and NPR3 — and a novel variant near TBX3 that are significantly associated with systolic or diastolic blood pressure.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.