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This Week in PLoS: Jan 23, 2012

Researchers at the University of Basel and elsewhere this week consider "how the promoter regions of genes affect noise and ask whether levels of promoter-mediated noise are correlated with genes' functional attributes," in the context of E. coli. In their PLoS Genetics paper, the researchers say that "in contrast to previous results in eukaryotes, we find no association between promoter-mediated noise and gene expression plasticity" in the bacterium.

In the same journal, investigators at Oslo University Hospital and the University of Oslo report on their investigation of genome-wide differences in DNA methylation and gene expression in CD4+ and CD8+ cells from monozygotic twins discordant for psoriasis. While the researchers did not find differentially methylated or expressed genes between twins when analyzed separately, "combined analysis of DNA methylation and gene expression identified genes where differences in DNA methylation between unaffected and affected twins were correlated with differences in gene expression," they write.

A Canadian team reports in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases this week on drug susceptibility-related genetic polymorphisms in four isolates of Leishmania tropica obtained from soldiers returning from Afghanistan. The authors report "high heterogeneity between … two L. tropica allelic versions of a gene," though they say that "L. tropica isolated from Afghanistan are susceptible to several of the antileishmanial drugs available."

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.