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This Week in PLOS: Jul 30, 2012

Scientists from across Italy this week report on their Sanger and next-generation sequencing-based investigation of a series of 116 non-small-cell lung cancer samples. "Our findings suggest that a region in exon 19 is highly unstable in a large proportion of patients carrying EGFR deletions," the authors write in PLOS One.

Over in PLOS Genetics, a team led by investigators at Cancer Research UK discusses "the extent by which transcription of lncRNA loci is retained or lost across multiple evolutionary lineages." The team generated RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data to create catalogues of transcripts expressed in the adult liver of Mus musculus domesticus(C57BL/6J), Mus musculus castaneus, and Rattus norvegicus. The researchers used this to "estimate the rate of transcriptional turnover of lncRNAs and [investigate] the effects of their lineage-specific birth or death," finding that "lncRNA transcription showed considerably greater gain and loss during rodent evolution, compared with protein-coding genes," as they report.

In the same journal, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Abhinav Jain and Michelle Craig Barton comment on a new study from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Carla Concepcion et al., which shows that miR-34 plays a redundant function in the p53 pathway. "Overall, the most striking result of p53 loss in vivo is early tumor predisposition in p53−/− mice, which lack genomic surveillance provided by p53-mediated regulation of cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and senescence," Jain and Barton write in PLOS Genetics.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.