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This Week in Nature: Jun 6, 2013

In Nature this week, a multi-institute team led by Chalmers University of Technology researchers report on how an analysis of the fecal gut metagenome can be used to identify patients with type II diabetes. Using shotgun sequencing, the investigators characterized the gut metagenomes of 145 European women with normal, impaired, and diabetic glucose control, and observed "compositional and functional alterations in the metagenomes" of those with type II diabetes. They also developed a mathematical model based on metagenomic profiles that could identify type II diabetics, as well as women with diabetic-like metabolisms, with high accuracy. Importantly, the scientists also applied their model to a Chinese cohort, finding that metagenomic markers for type II diabetes differ, highlighting the need to make metagenomic predictive tools specific for the ethnicity of population studied.

GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study, here.

Meanwhile, in Nature Genetics, an international group of researchers report on the identification of two susceptibility loci for osteosarcoma. The team conducted a genome-wide association study of 941 individuals with the disease and 3,291 cancer-free adults. They identified two susceptibility regions of the genome, with one harboring a possible candidate gene.

Also in Nature Genetics, a multi-national group of researchers report on the identification of four new susceptibility loci for atopic dermatitis. They used high-density genotyping of 2,425 German individuals with the disease and more than 5,400 controls, followed by replication in around 7,100 cases and 15,480 controls from Germany, Ireland, Japan, and China. The project uncovered the new loci and replicated previous associations, bringing the number of aptopic dermatitis risk loci in European people to 11.

The Scan

UK Funds to Stay Ahead of Variants

The UK has announced a further £29.3 million to stay on top of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Guardian reports.

Push for Access

In a letter, researchers in India seek easier access to COVID-19 data, Science reports.

Not as Cold

Late-stage trial results are expected soon for an RNA-based vaccine that could help meet global demand as it does not require very cold storage, the New York Times writes.

Genome Research Papers on Microbes' Effects on Host Transfer RNA, Honeybee Evolution, Single-Cell Histones

In Genome Research this week: influence of microbes on transfer RNA patterns, evolutionary relationships of honeybees, and more.