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This Week in PLoS: Apr 9, 2012

In PLoS Genetics this week, Yamagata University's Masao Ueki and Newcastle University's Heather Cordell discuss the theoretical properties and performance of a statistic for testing interaction between two loci, linked or unlinked, which was recently proposed by Bengbu Medical College's Xuesen Wu et al. Ueki and Cordell say that while in some cases Wu et al.'s statistics "outperform competing approaches," they contain "minor errors in the formulae … resulting in tests that have higher than nominal type 1 error." The authors go on to suggest improvements in the form of "two new 'joint effects' statistics that, provided the disease is rare, are sensitive only to genuine interaction effects," and recommend that researchers either use these adjusted statistics, or take "caution when using Wu et al.'s originally proposed statistics, on account of the inflated error rate that can result."

Elsewhere in the journal, Monash University's Nathalie Uwamahoro and her colleagues show that subunits of the Mediator complex regulate adhesion in a distinct manner in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans, such that Med31 and Srb9/Med13 "are repressors of the FLO genes in S. cerevisiae and are activators of the ALS genes in C. albicans."

Over in PLoS Computational Biology, researchers at Life Technologies introduce an RNA-seq mapping pipeline they've implemented within the company's LifeScope software. The team "introduced new features including filter and junction mapping, annotation-aided pairing rescue and accurate mapping quality values" and "combined this pipeline with a Suffix Array Spliced Read aligner to detect chimeric transcripts," it writes.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.