Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nucleic Acids Research: Jan 9, 2013

In an effort to find new ways of inhibiting the reverse transcriptase enzyme in HIV-1, a University of Missouri at Columbia-led team turned to high-throughput sequencing in combination with a type of RNA enrichment known as "systematic evolution of ligands through exponential enrichment," or SELEX. As they write in the early, online edition of Nucleic Acids Research, the researchers' search uncovered shared motifs amongst the RNAs that bind to and inhibit HIV-1's reverse transcriptase, hinting at potential strategies for designing anti-HIV-1 aptamers that thwart the enzyme and, in turn, the replication of HIV-1.

The National University of Singapore's Richie Soong and his colleagues describe a program called Genome Bisulfite Sequencing Analyzer, or GBSA, in another Nucleic Acids Research study. The open-source software was designed as a means of assessing high-throughput, whole-genome bisulfite sequence information — data used to discern methylation patterns across the genome — in either gene-focused or gene-agnostic ways. "In essence," study authors say, "GBSA allows an investigator to explore not only known loci but also the genomic regions, for which methylation studies could lead to the discovery of new regulatory mechanisms."

Finally, Adam James Reid and Matthew Berriman, both with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute's parasite genomics group, outline a scheme for deciphering molecular interactions between a parasite and its host. Their method involves gauging gene expression profiles in each of the organisms and looking for profiles that shift in both organisms as they interact. From these correlated gene expression patterns, the pair notes, it's possible to narrow in on the genes at play when hosts and parasites — or any pair of organisms — interact with one another. "Our approach could be applied to study any interaction between species," they say, "for example, between a host and its parasites or pathogens, but also symbiotic and commensal pairings."

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.