Gary Ruvkun's lab at Harvard has used RNAi to find that two pre-mRNAs are trans-spliced to form a functional mRNA, eri-6/7. The ERI-6/7 protein is a superfamily I helicase that both negatively regulates the exogenous RNAi pathway and functions in an endogenous RNAi pathway.
Two papers use GWAS to find genetic variation in schizophrenia. In one, a large consortium identified 66 de novo CNVs associated with the disease, with three particular deletions at 1q21.1, 15q11.2 and 15q13.3 being significant. Another, led by the International Schizophrenia Consortium, used a GWAS to find that rare CNVs (observed in less than 1 percent of the sample) increased risk. A related News and Views article says that these studies "show that genome-wide studies of thousands of patients not only can confirm the association between previously identified genetic loci and the disease, but can also identify new loci."
Scientists used a genome-wide RNAi screen to find 305 host proteins that affect West Nile virus infection in humans. Some important pathways they found are ubiquitin ligase CBLL1 in WNV internalization, the endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation pathway in viral infection, and the monocarboxylic acid transporter MCT4 as a viral replication resistance factor.
A news feature checks in on the battle between Sigma-Aldrich's proprietary zinc-finger protein technology and a competing academic platform that would make designer zinc-finger proteins accessible to everyone. More than 700 different zinc-finger proteins -- transcription factors which bind to specific DNA sequences to switch genes on and off -- have been identified, and their use extends from basic to clinical research as a way to knock down gene expression.