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This Week in Nature: Oct 27, 2011

In Nature this week, an international team led by investigators at Brown University reports its analysis of multiple phylogenomic data sets for mollusks — "containing up to 216,402 sites and 1,185 gene regions using multiple models and methods." The team unearthed evidence to "support the clade Aculifera, containing the three molluscan groups with spicules but without true shells, and … the monophyly of Conchifera." Overall, the team says its study will support further investigations into mollusk evolution.

Elsewhere, an international team led by researchers at the University of Melbourne reports a draft genome of the parasite Ascaris sum, which it compared with other nematode genomes. The team says its study "provides a comprehensive resource to the scientific community and underpins the development of new and urgently needed interventions (drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests) against ascariasis and other nematodiases." Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study.

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center's Anthony Orvedahl and his colleagues report in a Nature paper published online in advance on their "high-content, image-based, genome-wide small interfering RNA screen to detect genes required for the co-localization of Sindbis virus capsid protein with autophagolysosomes." Of the 141 candidate genes required for viral autophagy the researchers identified, 96 are "also required for Parkin-mediated mitophagy, indicating that common molecular determinants may be involved in autophagic targeting of viral nucleocapsids and autophagic targeting of damaged mitochondria," they write.

Over in Nature Genetics, a team led by investigators at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, shows that a "loss-of-function variant in DNASE1L3 causes a familial form of systemic lupus erythematosus." Further, the researchers report evidence to confirm the previously reported "confirm the critical role of impaired clearance of degraded DNA in SLE pathogenesis," they write.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.