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This Week in Nature: Aug 29, 2013

In Nature this week, a team led by researchers from Sage Bionetworks and the University of Chicago report on the discovery of a gene that may determine the extent of a major adverse effect of cholesterol-lowering statins. The investigators identified a downstream target of statin treatment that regulates the expression of the gene GATM, which appears to play a role in energy storage in muscle. When this genetic locus was examined in two separate populations, it was found to be associated with statin-induce myopathy. The researchers also show that the GATM gene may be linked to cholesterol metabolism.

GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

Meanwhile, in Nature Methods, a group of scientists from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and elsewhere report on a collection of more than 3,000 human cell lines, each containing a mutation in a single gene. While single-gene knockout collections in model organisms are useful research tools, often experiments need to be carried out in human systems. To that end, the team created a platform to generate a collection of human cell lines carrying single gene-trap insertions. The library covers 3,396 genes — one-third of the expressed genome — and it is DNA-barcoded and allows systematic screens for a wide variety of cellular phenotypes.

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.