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This Week in PLoS: Jul 16, 2012

Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital use "whole-genome transcriptional sequencing to systematically identify the sRNAs of Streptococcus pneumonia" in PLoS Pathogens this week. "Furthermore, using targeted genetic approaches and Tn-seq transposon screening, we demonstrate that many of the identified sRNAs have important global and niche-specific roles in virulence," the authors add.

Over in PLoS Computational Biology, an international team led by investigators at Vrije Universiteit Brussel reports having applied an ensemble method based on multiple similarity measures in combination with generalized boosted linear models to 16S rRNA gene profiles from the initial Human Microbiome Project cohort. This approach resulted "in a global network of 3,005 significant co-occurrence and co-exclusion relationships between 197 clades occurring throughout the human microbiome," the authors write.

Elsewhere in the same journal, the Broad Institute's David Altschuler and his colleagues present a statistical framework "to estimate genotypes jointly from sequence reads, array intensities, and imputation," they write. "Our joint framework informs the use of next-generation sequencing in genome-wide association studies and supports development of improved methods for genotype calling," Altschuler and his team add.

And in PLoS One, a trio of researchers from Duke University Medical Center discuss differentially methylated regions, or DMRs, of imprinted genes in prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal samples from a large panel of human conceptal tissues. Using pyrosequencing assays at seven DMRs, the team found methlation differences in tissues from brain, liver, and placenta.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.