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This Week in Nucleic Acids Research: Dec 12, 2012

In an early online paper in Nucleic Acids Research, an Illumina-, Weill Cornell Medical College-, and the University of Washington-led group describes a website containing reference transcriptome sequences for non-human primates. The site currently houses RNA-sequencing data for a dozen non-human primate species, they note, and is set to expand to 15 species or sub-species in the near future. "This resource will continue to host additional RNA-Seq data, alignments, and assemblies as they are generated over the coming years," study authors write, "and provide a key resource for the annotation of [non-human primate] genomes as well as informing primate studies on evolution, reproduction, infection, immunity, and pharmacology."

French researchers find hints from human fibroblast cell experiments suggesting that shortened telomeres are not only more apt to remain uncapped, but can also trigger a so-called ATM/ATR-dependent DNA damage checkpoint. And that, say researchers, stalls cells en route to senescence in the G2 stage of the cell cycle, rather than at the transition between the G1 and S phases as previously suspected. "We found that post-replicative eroded telomeres in senescing human fibroblasts recruit DNA damage response factors in G2," they write, "and that this telomere damage signaling is associated with p53-dependent delay in G2."

Finally, Guilherme Oliveira, with Brazil's National Institute for Science and Technology in Tropical Diseases, leads an international team presenting information on a genomic database representing three blood fluke species from the genus Schistosoma. They explain that the most recent release of this resource, known as SchistoDB, includes whole-genome sequence data for each of the species — S. haematobium, S. japonicum, and S. mansoni — coupled with tools for doing bioinformatics and data mining using this information.