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This Week in Nature: May 3, 2013

Based on genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses of nearly 400 tumors, the Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network team uncovered four subtypes of endometrial cancer, as it reports in Nature this week. These four categories subdivide the tumors based on their mutation frequency: POLE ultramutated, microsatellite instability hypermutated, copy-number low, and copy-number high tumors. "This integrated analysis provides key molecular insights into tumour classification, which may have a direct effect on treatment recommendations for patients, and provides opportunities for genome-guided clinical trials and drug development," the researchers write.

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

Also in Nature, researchers led by Roland Beckmann from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Germany present the structures of both the human and fruit fly 80S ribosomes in complex with translation factor eEF2, E-site transfer RNA, and Stm1-like proteins. Using high-resolution cryo-electron-microscopy density maps, predicted secondary structures for rRNA expansion segments, and the yeast and Tetrahymena 80S crystal structures, the researchers built molecular models of the Homo sapiens and Drosophila melanogaster subunits. "These structures not only illustrate the co-evolution of metazoan-specific ribosomal RNA with ribosomal proteins but also reveal the presence of two additional structural layers in metazoan ribosomes, a well-ordered inner layer covered by a flexible RNA outer layer," the authors note.

Over in Nature Genetics, BGI researchers and their colleagues report on the draft genomes of two turtles, the soft-shell turtle and the green sea turtle. Their results point to a split from the bird-crocodilian lineage about 267.9 million years ago to 248.3 million years ago. In addition, they uncover evidence of expansions in olfactory receptor genes in these two turtles, which may be due to a gene duplication event. All in all their "results suggest that turtle evolution was accompanied by an unexpectedly conservative vertebrate phylotypic period, followed by turtle-specific repatterning of development to yield the novel structure of the shell," the researchers write.

GWDN also covers this article here.