Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in PLoS: Sep 26, 2011

This week, a trio of investigators at the University of Edinburgh reports in PLoS One its generation of thousand-member specific DNA oligonucleotide pools using selective hybridization to complementary DNA microarray "factories."

Over in PLoS Genetics, members of the IBC 50K CAD Consortium report their custom array-based investigation of 49,094 genetic variants in about 2,100 genes of reported cardiovascular relevance in 15,596 coronary artery disease cases and 34,992 controls. The team also describes its study of some perceived "potential mechanisms through which the novel variants could affect CAD [coronary artery disease] risk ... through association tests with vascular risk factors and gene expression." From that, the team reports having "found essentially null results for most previously suggested CAD candidate genes."

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of California, Santa Cruz, present a "network of coevolving residues (possible functional interactions), in which nodes are mutant residue positions and links represent two positions found mutated together in the same sequence," for studies on β-lactamase evolution. "Focusing on extended-spectrum resistant sequences," the team sought to identify "triple mutant trajectories of likely special significance for adaptation," it writes, finding that the method "can identify triplets that increase resistance despite the underlying rugged fitness landscape and has the unique ability to make predictions by placing each mutant residue position in its functional context."

And in PLoS Biology, investigators at the University of Zürich and Trinity College Dublin report on their transcriptomic analysis of the Arapidopsis megaspore mother cell, which they say highlights the "important and RNA helicases for plant germline development." The megaspore mother cell, the team writes, "sets the stage for future functional characterization as illustrated by the identification of MEM, a novel gene involved in the restriction of germline fate."

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.