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This Week in Nature: Nov 16, 2012

In Nature this week, an international team of investigators reports on the assembly and analysis of the domestic Duroc pig genome, which identified genes potentially associated with disease and provides a new resource for the study of pigs in both agriculture and medical research. In the study, the sequenced Duroc pig genome was compared with the genomes of other pigs, both wild and domestic, giving insights into the emergence of the animal. Meanwhile, the analyses also shed new light on the rapid evolution of genes associated with immune response and smell. The Daily Scan's sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

Also in Nature, a team of researchers led by investigators from the University of Queensland describes how pancreatic cancer genomes revealed the potential involvement of axon guidance genes in the disease. The researchers performed exome sequencing and copy-number analysis to identify genomic aberrations in a cohort of early sporadic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients and found a number of mutated genes already associated with the cancer. They also found novel mutated genes involved in chromatin modification, DNA damage repair, and other mechanisms, as well as "frequent and diverse somatic aberrations in genes described traditionally as embryonic regulators of axon guidance."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.