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This Week in Nature: Oct 16, 2008

A consortium of researchers have sequenced the pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and compared it to the genome of another diatom, T. pseudonana. They found that a large fraction of the genome, 40 percent, is not common between the two lineages.

In news, an article discusses the potential stock market delisting of Iceland's deCode Genetics, while another piece addresses the fact that microarrays are losing out to rapidly advancing next-gen sequencing technologies.

Using a combination of whole genome scanning and resequencing, CHOP researchers found that germline mutations in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene explain most hereditary neuroblastomas. In another study, scientists at the Curie Institute led work that used genome-wide comparative genomic hybridization analysis on neuroblastomas and found recurrent copy number increase at the ALK locus. Another study used genome-wide scans of genetic lesions in 215 primary neuroblastoma samples using high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping microarrays to identify the ALK locus for copy number gain and gene amplification. A fourth study found that shRNA knockdown of ALK expression in neuroblastoma cell lines with the F1174L mutation resulted in apoptosis and impaired cell proliferation.

A special section features neuropsychiatric diseases, and several studies employ large-scale research tools to study them. In one, scientists look at how genes encoding neurexins or neuroligins have recently been implicated in autism, while another showcases the role CNVs play in diseases like autism and schizophrenia.


The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.