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This Week in PLOS: Sep 9, 2013

In PLOS Genetics, Danish researchers describe findings from a genomic analysis of bacteria from a Pseudomonas aeruginosa lineage capable of being passed from one individual infected with cystic fibrosis to another. The team sequenced 55 P. aeruginosa isolates found in 21 Danish cystic fibrosis patients over nearly four decades, from 1972 to 2008. The data made it possible for investigators to untangle relationships between the bugs — including those from an especially mutagenic sub-population of the lineage known as DK2. The group also tracked down genes that appear to have bolstered pathogenicity and patient adaptation.

A Boston-based team performed high-throughput sequencing on a transposon insertion library for an independent P. aeruginosa study in appearing in PLOS Pathogens. The insertion-sequencing, or INSeq, strategy offered clues about which non-essential genes that contribute to fitness in the P. aeruginosa strain PA14 — both in the lab and in a mouse model of infection. "These experiments resulted in the identification of the P. aeruginosa strain PA14 genes necessary for optimal survival in the mucosal and systemic environments of a mammalian host," the study's authors note.

Researchers from Canada, the US, and Austria report on the human urine metabolome in PLOS One. The group brought together existing information in the literature with experimental data determined with the help of nuclear magnetic resonance, liquid chromatography, and various forms of mass spectrometry to get at the metabolite makeup of human urine. On the experimental side, investigators tracked down 450 different urine-based metabolites, including 378 that could be quantified. Information in the literature led to another 2,208 compounds, which the team combined with experimental and structural data in an online urine metabolite clearinghouse found at http://www.urinemetabolome.ca/.

The Scan

Rise of B.1.617.2 in the UK

According to the Guardian, UK officials expect the B.1.617.2 variant to soon be the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 there.

Anne Schuchat to Retire

Anne Schuchat is retiring after more than 30 years at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Politico reports.

US to Share More Vaccines

CNN reports that the US will share 20 million doses of the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines with other countries.

PNAS Papers on Gene Therapy Platform, Aspergillus Metabolome, Undernutrition Model Microbiome

In PNAS this week: approach to deliver protein-based treatments to cells, pan-secondary metabolome of Aspergillus, and more.