In this week's Nature Genetics, the complete DNA sequences of 234 cattle were reported. An international team of scientists sequenced the genomes of 232 bulls and two cows from the Holstein-Fresian, the Fleckvieh, and the Jersey breeds, and found genes linked to embryonic death, skeletal deformities, milk production, and curly coats. The results could help in the direct selection of healthy cattle in the future. GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.
Meanwhile, in Nature Methods, a team from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, publish details of a new method for RNA motif discovery. Their approach, known as selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension and mutational profiling, or SHAPE-MaP, enables de novo and large-scale identification of RNA functional motifs. In their paper, the researchers used the method to define a new model for the HIV-1 RNA genome, which contains all known structured motifs and previously unknown elements, including experimentally validated pseudoknots.