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This Week in Nature: May 17, 2013

In Nature this week, an international team of investigators reports the sequence of the 82-megabase genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant Utricularia gibba. Despite its small size, the genome accommodates a typical number of genes for a plant, with the main difference between other plant genomes being a reduction in non-genic DNA. The compressed architecture of the U. gibba genome indicates that "a small fraction of intergenic DNA, with few or no active retrotransposons, is sufficient to regulate and integrate all the processes required for the development and reproduction of a complex organism," the researchers say.

GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

Also in Nature, Stanford University scientists publish a study demonstrating high-throughput human proteome quantification, and its combination with DNA variation and transcriptome information to add a "new dimension" to the characterization of gene expression regulation. The investigators used isobaric tag-based quantitative mass spectrometry to determine relative protein levels of 5,953 genes in lymphoblastoid cell lines from 95 diverse individuals genotyped in the HapMap Project. They found that protein levels are heritable molecular phenotypes and have considerable variation between individuals, populations, and sexes. Additionally, the investigators found protein quantitative trait loci, including variants not detected by previous transcriptome studies.

Meanwhile, in Nature Genetics, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Institute of Cancer Research report in separate studies the discovery of 12 new genetic risk variants for testicular cancer. The Penn team performed a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies of testicular germ cell tumor with follow-up replication testing in six additional sample collections, and found four new chromosomal regions associated with an increased risk of the cancer. In another report, ICR investigators performed a meta-analysis of data from a genome-wide association study and a large replication study and identified nine new susceptibility variants for testicular cancer, one of which overlapped with a variant identified in the Penn study.

GWDN has more on these studies as well, here.