Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nature: Apr 12, 2012

In Nature this week, a team led by investigators at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of California, San Diego, discusses the 3D organization of the human and mouse genomes in both embryonic stem cells and terminally differentiated cell types. In its study, the team analyzed more than 1.7-billion read pairs of Hi-C data corresponding to pluripotent and differentiated cells, identifying "large, megabase-sized local chromatin interaction domains," which it has dubbed "'topological domains,' as a pervasive structural feature of the genome organization." In addition, the researchers report having found that "the boundaries of topological domains are enriched for the insulator binding protein CTCF, housekeeping genes, transfer RNAs, and short interspersed element retrotransposons, indicating that these factors may have a role in establishing the topological domain structure of the genome," they write.

An international team led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports its application of a competition ChIP approach to measure Rap1 transcription-factor binding dynamics across the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. "Long Rap1 residence was coupled to transcriptional activation, whereas fast binding turnover, which we refer to as 'treadmilling', was linked to low transcriptional output," the authors report having found. "We propose that transcription factor binding turnover is a major point of regulation in determining the functional consequences of transcription factor binding, and is mediated mainly by control of competition between transcription factors and nucleosomes," they add.

Elsewhere in Nature this week, researchers at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, and their colleagues report a "direct mechanism by which increasing temperature causes the bHLH transcription factor Phytochrome Interacting Factor4 to activate FT [Flowering Locus T]" in Arapidopsis thaliana. The team says its study adds to researchers' molecular understanding of how temperature affects flowering, which it adds, "will be important for mitigating the effects of climate change."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.