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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

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.