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This Week in PLoS: Oct 10, 2011

In PLoS One this week, and international team led by investigators at Germany's University of Duisburg-Essen report on the complete genome sequence of the hyperthermophilic Crenarchaeum Thermoproteus tenax (strain Kra1, DSM 2078T), a strictly anaerobic and sulfur-dependent Thermoproteales strain that grows optimally at 86°C and pH 5.6. Within its genome, the team identified "the presence of two proteins — ParA family ATPase, actin-like protein — that might be involved in cell division in Thermoproteales, where the ESCRT system is absent, and of genes involved in genetic competence — DprA, ComF — that is so far unique within Archaea."

Elsewhere, an international team led by researchers at Portugal's Instituto de Medicina Molecular reports on its ChIP-seq and miRNA-bases analyses to "uncover genome-wide interactions of α-synuclein," a molecule with a central role in Parkinson's disease. "Convergence of ChIP-seq and miRNomics data highlighted the glycosphingolipid biosynthesis and the ubiquitin proteasome system as key players in PD," the authors write, adding that their results suggest "several miRNAs may act as regulators of both known and novel biological processes leading to idiopathic PD."

Over in PLoS Genetics, researchers at Denmark's Aarhus University and elsewhere identify "CtIP as a disease gene for Seckel and Jawad syndromes, and [define] a new type of genetic disease mechanism in which a dominant negative mutation yields a recessively inherited disorder."

And in PLoS Computational Biology, the University of Cologne's Armita Nourmohammad and Michael Lässig "show that a large fraction of neighboring transcription factor binding sites in the fly genome have formed from a common sequence origin by local duplications," and that this mode of evolution produces regulatory information. In a statistical analysis of 346 cis-regulatory modules in the Drosophila melanogaster genome, Nourmohammad and Lässig found that "duplicate seeds evolve subsequently by point mutations, often towards binding a different factor than their ancestral neighbor sites."

The Scan

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.

Rett Syndrome Mouse Model Study Points to RNA Editing Possibilities

Investigators targeted MECP2 in mutant mouse models of Rett syndrome, showing in PNAS that they could restore its expression and dial down symptoms.

Investigators Find Shared, Distinct Genetic Contributors to Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

An association study in JAMA Network Open uncovers risk variants within and beyond the human leukocyte antigen locus.

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.