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This Week in Nature: Mar 15, 2012

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Duncan Smith and Iestyn Whitehouse show that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae ligation-competent Okazaki fragments are sized according to the nucleosome repeat, and that "ligation junctions preferentially occur near nucleosome midpoints rather than in internucleosomal linker regions."

In another Nature paper published online in advance this week, an international team led by investigators at the Technical University of Munich reports its "high-yield production of plasmonic structures that contain nanoparticles arranged in nanometre-scale helices," based on DNA origami. The team also reports having found that, in solution, its structures "exhibit defined circular dichroism and optical rotatory dispersion effects at visible wavelengths that originate from the collective plasmon-plasmon interactions of the nanoparticles positioned with an accuracy better than two nanometres."

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg and elsewhere this week show in mice that "the microbiota-induced extravascular TF [tissue factor]-PAR1 signalling loop is a novel pathway that may be modulated to influence vascular remodeling in the small intestine." The Gothenburg-led team shows in Nature this week that "mice with a genetic deletion of the TF cytoplasmic domain or with hypomorphic TF alleles had a decreased intestinal vessel density."

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.