In Nature this week, a team from Queen Mary University reports on research indicating that convergent evolution — the process by which similar traits appear in different species — is widespread at the genetic level. They studied the rise of echolocation, which is present species ranging from bats to dolphins, comparing the genomes of 22 mammals, including ones with the ultrasonic ability, and found genetic signatures consistent with convergence in nearly 200 genomic regions. Notably, signs of convergence were observed in the genes of bats and bottlenose dolphins that had previously been associated with hearing.
GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.
In Nature Genetics, four independent research groups each present the whole-genome sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, providing new details on drug resistance in tuberculosis epidemics and offering potential new targets for therapeutic intervention. One study reports the whole-genome sequencing and analysis of 123 M. tuberculosis strains from a global collection representing each of the six major lineages, along with a range of drug resistance phenotypes. Another presents whole-genome sequencing of 161 M. tuberculosis strains from China, as well as a list of candidate regions associated with drug resistance. In a third study, researchers report the genome sequencing of M. tuberculosis strains treated in vitro with the tuberculosis drug ethambutol, and the final study analyzed 259 M. tuberculosis complex genome sequences.
GenomeWeb Daily News also covers these papers here.