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This Week in Nature: Apr 18, 2013

In this week's Nature, an international team of researchers led by the Broad Institute's Kerstin Lindblad-Toh report on the genomic sequence of the African coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae, which is part of a lineage of lobe-finned fish thought until the 1930s to have become extinct millions of years ago. The scientists found that the fish's protein-coding genes, are "significantly more slowly evolving than those of other tetrapods, unlike other genomic features." They also confirmed that another lobe-finned fish, the lungfish, and not the coelacanth is the closest living relative of tetrapods.

Daily Scan sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

Also in Nature, a team led by investigators from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute publish the sequenced genome of the zebrafish, one of the most widely used model organisms. They found that the zebrafish has the largest gene set of any vertebrate sequences so far, and show that 70 percent of human genes have at least one obvious zebrafish ortholog. In a second study, a team also led by Sanger's Derek Stemple used the zebrafish reference genome to find potentially disruptive mutations in more that 38 percent of the animal's known protein-encoding genes. They also found mutations in zebrafish equivalents of 3,188 genes associated with human diseases, and 2,505 alleles associated with a human trait.

GWDN also has more on these studies here.

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.