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This Week in Nature: Apr 4, 2013

In this week's Nature Genetics, a team from Washington University publishes the sequence and analysis of the platyfish genome, representing the first genome sequence of a poeciliid fish. The researchers found that genes associated with viviparity show signatures of positive selection, "identifying new putative functional domains and rare cases of parallel evolution." They also discovered that genes implicated in cognition show an "unexpectedly high rate of duplicate gene retention after the teleost genome duplication event, suggesting a hypothesis for the evolution of the behavioral complexity in fish, which exceeds that found in amphibians and reptiles."

Daily Scan sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on the platyfish here.

Meanwhile, in Nature Methods, a team from the J. Craig Venter Institute describe a new method for the transfer of genomes into yeast, a process that aids genome engineering for genetically intractable organisms, but that has been hampered by need to isolate intact genomes before transfer. The new process allows involves direct cell-to-cell transfer of bacterial genomes as large as 1.8 megabases into yeast under conditions that promote cell fusion. Removal of restriction endonucleases from donor bacteria was also found to enhance genome transfer.