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This Week in PLoS: Apr 23, 2012

An international team led by investigators at China's Huazhong Agricultural University presents an analysis of 20 Mycoplasma genomes in PLoS One this week. In its investigation, the team found "several key genes, which are related to DNA replication and repair and can be disrupted in transposon mutagenesis studies, [that] may be critical for bacteria survival especially over long period natural selection," it writes.

Researchers in France this week show in an investigation of sex-linked genes in the plant Silene latifolia that "X-linked allele expression increases as Y-linked allele expression decreases in males, which makes expression of sex-linked contigs similar in both sexes." In PLoS Biology, the team says that, to date, such dosage compensation has "only been observed in evolutionary old animal sex chromosome systems."

Over in PLoS Genetics, an international group led by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, discusses the genetic basis of gene expression variation among humans in the context of lymphoblastoid cell line data from 726 individuals from eight global populations from the HapMap3 project. Correlating gene expression levels with HapMap3 SNPs located in cis to the genes, the team identified "5,691 expression quantitative trait loci after controlling for both non-genetic factors and population admixture,"it writes. In addition, the researchers report having found "patterns of eQTL-sharing between populations, which are partially determined by population genetic relatedness, and discover significant sharing of eQTL effects between Asians, European-admixed, and African subpopulations."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.