Researchers at Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf have found a new gene involved in the sex determination pathway in honeybees. The gene feminizer (fem) is the ancestrally conserved progenitor gene from which the complementary sex determiner (csd) gene arose and is located 12 kilobases upstream of csd. Knocking out the female-specific fem splice variant gave male bees, and knockdowns of female allelic csd transcripts resulted in the male-specific fem splice variants, suggesting that it's the fem gene that is in control of the sex development pathways when csd is heterozygous.
Grad student Michael Imbeault, an HIV researcher at the Université Laval in Quebec, has launched a news aggregator for scientists. Unhappy with what's out there, he launched e! Science News last month. It's already got 300,000 users and gets 5,000 hits a day, he says.
A group of researchers got NHGRI approval to use next-gen sequencing on the genomes of 192 flies, all from different lab strains of D. melanogaster. They hope to spend the $4 million that it will cost to better understand variation and evolution in natural fly populations.
Sanger Institute scientists have used RNA sequencing of transcript populations in the fission yeast S. pombe to get a better idea of how these are affected by gene regulatory factors such as non-coding RNAs and RNA splice variants.