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This Week in Nature: Nov 3, 2011

In a paper published online in advance in Nature this week, a team led by investigators at the National Cancer Institute shows that "CTCF-promoted RNA polymerase II pausing links DNA methylation to splicing," thus, it says, providing "a mechanistic basis for developmental regulation of splicing outcome through heritable epigenetic marks."

Researchers in China report loci and variants associated with schizophrenia susceptibility this week in Nature Genetics. A team led by investigators at Peking University presents a genome-wide association study in which researchers identified two susceptibility loci for schizophrenia at 6p21-p22.1. Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and elsewhere present a GWAS in which they found that "common variants on 8p12 and 1q24.2 confer risk of schizophrenia."

In another Nature Genetics paper, a public-private team led by investigators at Pfizer reports its use of exome sequencing on 22 gastric cancer samples, in which they found "genes involved in chromatin modification to be commonly mutated." Further, in a downstream validation study, the Pfizer-led team confirmed frequent mutations in ARID1A. "Clinically, ARID1A alterations were associated with better prognosis in a stage-independent manner," the authors write.

Over in this week's issue, Nature notes that according to an UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills report, "the United Kingdom was second only to the United States in terms of total scientific-paper citations last year. … In 2010, UK papers had 3.46 million citations; those from the United States had 13.2 million."

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.