Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in PLOS: Sep 30, 2013

A Croatian and American group used a combination of complementary DNA clone sequencing and high-throughput RNA sequencing to track murine cytomegalovirus and host mouse transcriptome patterns during lytic phases of MCMV infection. As they report in PLOS Pathogens, the researchers saw a jump in the transcription of genes with yet-undetermined functions during that infection phase, including a viral transcript that appears to encode a microRNA regulator as well as a previously unknown protein. The mouse host cells, meanwhile, had higher-than-usual expression of immune and inflammation genes, along with non-coding RNAs and genes best known for their role in development or cellular differentiation, study authors note.

A US- and Swiss-led team followed five infants over time in an effort to better understand human cytomegalovirus evolution in the human host — work that they describe in PLOS Genetics. By using a targeted sequencing and population genetic modeling to assess HCMVs in infant samples over time, for instance, the researchers saw that viral populations in blood and urine from the same individual tend to be genetically distinct, though populations found at each site remains relatively stable. This intra-host differentiation was on par with differences in HCMV polymorphism patterns found in viruses infecting different individuals, study authors say, and is suspected to stem from a combination of population bottlenecks and positive selection.

The organization of genes expressed in mammary glands during lactation may contribute to their regulation, according to a PLOS One study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, UC-San Francisco, and Baylor College of Medicine. The team used array-based gene expression profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing experiments to assess mouse mammary gland cells and liver tissue samples during lactation and pregnancy. Results from these and other experiments uncovered so-called "neighborhoods" of genes expressed in mammary gland cells. They also indicated that genes outside these neighborhoods tended to carry silent chromatin marks during lactation.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.