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This Week in Nature: Mar 27, 2008

Because of how "easy" induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are to create in the lab, many researchers are using these instead of embryonic stem cells in their studies. In this news feature, David Cyranoski separates fact from fiction about these cells.

At the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, researchers have found a link between hematopoietic stem cell circulation and circadian rhythms. They show that levels of CXCL12 -- a protein that moves HSCs from the bone marrow to the blood in adults -- change during the course of a day.

A consortium led by Kari Stefansson has analyzed the expression of 23,720 transcripts in large population-based blood and adipose tissue cohorts, and found a "marked" correlation between gene expression in adipose tissue and obesity-related traits. In a related study, Merck's Eric Schadt led a study that identified gene networks that are associated with metabolic disease traits.

In a paper published a few weeks ago online, Carlos Bustamante's lab at Berkeley has measured the process of translation at the single-molecule level. A blogger at Biocurious wonders whether the best details are yet to be worked out: "Technically this is impressive, but the new and interesting data on ribosomes that single-molecule techniques can measure are still to come."

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.