In this week's Nature, US and European researchers reported the results of large-scale analyses of the genomes of humans, Drosophila, and C. elegans, providing insights into how gene expression and function is regulated across the three species. The latest findings, presented by the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) and the Model Organism ENCODE (modENCODE) projects, point to similarities and differences in chromatin organization between humans and the two model organisms, and provide key data on how chromatin regulates genomic function.
Meanwhile, in Nature Genetics, a team from Uppsala University described the sequencing of genomes of 140 honeybees from 14 populations throughout the world, which revealed a host of genetic adaptations that enable the different groups insects to survive in their respective environments. The investigators identified almost 3,000 genes showing evidence of adaptive evolution, including ones involved in overwintering and immunity. They also found that climate changes over the last 300,000 years influenced the size of honeybee populations.