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This Week in Nature: Dec 1, 2011

In a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies on platelet count including 66,867 individuals of European ancestry, a team led by investigators at the German Research Center for Environmental Health "identified 68 genomic loci [that] reliably associated with platelet count and volume mapping to established and putative novel regulators of megakaryopoiesis and platelet formation." In the Nature paper, the researchers add that "using gene silencing in Danio rerio and Drosophila melanogaster, we identified 11 of the genes as novel regulators of blood cell formation," demonstrating, they add, "a new example of successful translation of GWAS to function."

Over in Nature Communications, the University of Leicester's Lev Solyakov and colleagues report their combination of "global phospho-proteomic analysis with kinome-wide reverse genetics to assess the importance of protein phosphorylation in Plasmodium falciparum asexual proliferation." In its analysis, the Leicester-led team defines potential anti-malarial drug targets within the P. falciparum kinome.

A team led by researchers at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine this week reports its use of whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to profile a primary human colorectal tumor and matched normal tissue at single base-pair resolution in Nature Genetics. "We propose that widespread DNA methylation changes in cancer are linked to silencing programs orchestrated by the three-dimensional organization of chromatin within the nucleus," the authors conclude.

Elsewhere in the journal, an international team led by investigators at the Institute of Cancer Research in Surrey, UK, identifies risk loci for multiple myeloma at 3p22.1 derived from a genome-wide association study of 1,675 individuals with multiple myeloma and 5,903 control subjects.

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.