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This Week in Nature: Oct 17, 2014

In this week's Nature, a team led by National Institutes of Health scientists report new data on the fundamental genome-folding principles that govern higher-order chromosome organization required for coordinating nuclear functions. They conducted a genome-wide chromatin conformation capture analysis to examine the organization of the genome of the model organism Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and found that globules are a prominent feature of local chromatin organization. Further, globules require cohesin and are a basic element of chromosome arm architecture, distinct from cohesin-dependent long-range loop interactions between gene regulatory elements in higher eukaryotes. Heterochromatin was also shown to mediate chromatin fiber compaction at centromeres and promote prominent inter-arm interactions within centromere-proximal regions, setting structural constraints for proper genome organization. Loss of heterochromatin, meanwhile, was found to ease these constraints, causing an increase in intra-and inter-chromosomal interactions.

And in Nature Genetics, Chinese investigators publish the discovery of genetic regions associated with selective breeding in tomatoes. By sequencing the genomes of 360 tomato varieties, they found a group whose genetic makeup was between wild tomato plants and ones that have been breed for commercial purposes. Using this group, that found that about 8 percent of the tomato genome is involved in domestication, and about 7 percent of the genome that was selected for during the later improvement phase. About one-fifth of these regions overlapped. GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.