In Nature Genetics this week, two papers highlight some interesting genomics handiwork. In one, Howard Hughes researchers at the University of Utah have devised a cheap, efficient method for creating and then breeding large-scale, genome-wide deletions and duplications in mice. They hope to be able to use the mutated mice for visualizing the effect that translocations within noncoding regions have on the development of human cancers.
Another paper reports on the sequencing of the genomes of two species of the parasite that causes Leishmaniasis, a disease that affects two million people each year. Remarkably, only about 200 genes are different between the two newly sequenced species, Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis, and the published genome of Leishmania major. This small window of variation will hopefully give geneticists a way to effectively pinpoint where to start searching for improved drug targets.