Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nature: Jan 26, 2012

A team led by investigators at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine this week reports its use of all five current human African trypanosomiasis drugs in a genome-scale RNA interference target sequencing screen in Trypanosoma brucei, which it says revealed the "transporters, organelles, enzymes and metabolic pathways that function to facilitate antitrypanosomal drug action." Taking this RIT-seq profiling approach, the team identified "both known drug importers and the only known pro-drug activator, and [linked] more than fifty additional genes to drug action," it writes in Nature.

In another paper published online in advance this week, an international team led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, reports having reprogrammed primary fibroblasts from two patients with familial Alzheimer's disease, two with sporadic Alzheimer's disease, and two non-demented control individuals into induced pluripotent stem cell lines. Writing in Nature, the UCSC-led team says its iPSC lines "can be used to observe phenotypes relevant to Alzheimer's disease."

Elsewhere, researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine and their international collaborators show that "mutations in kelch-like 3 and cullin 3 cause hypertension and electrolyte abnormalities." Using exome sequencing, the team identified KLHL3 and CUL3 mutations in pseudohypoaldosteronism type II patients from 41 unrelated families.

Also in Nature, the Whitehead Institute's Michael Nodine and David Bartel report data demonstrating that maternal and paternal genomes contribute equally to the transcriptome of early Arabidopsis thaliana embryos. "In contrast to early animal embryogenesis, early plant embryogenesis is mostly under zygotic control," Nodine and Bartel write.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.