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This Week in PLOS: Jun 3, 2014

In PLOS Pathogens, researchers from Germany, Switzerland, the US, and France used RNA interference screening to demonstrate that nuclear envelope breakdown is needed for human papillomavirus type 16 to be imported into the cell's nucleus. The team's two-step, high throughput screen indicated that HPV16 import hinges on interactions between the virus and host chromatin features, as well as nuclear envelope breakdown at the mitotic stage of the cell cycle. "The results accentuate the value of genes found by RNAi screens for investigation of viral infections," the study's authors write. "The list of cell functions required during HPV16 infection will, moreover, provide a resource for future virus-host cell interaction studies."

Australian researchers detected shifts in the skin microbiome that accompany pig infections by the scabies-causing mite Sarcoptes scabiei — work they describe in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Using 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing, the group tested skin scraping samples collected from scabies-free and S. scabiei-infected pigs during the course of some five months, including samples taken after treatment of the infected animals. Results from the analysis suggest that scabies mite infection is linked to a jump in Staphylococcus representation in the skin microbiome that outlasts successful scabies treatment.

A team from the UK and the US report on findings from a genome-wide analysis of copy number variants in type 1 diabetes in PLOS Genetics. With the help of a custom comparative genetic hybridization array, the researchers profiled thousands of CNVs in families enrolled in the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium. Although their findings verified an association between type 1 diabetes and a locus harboring the INS gene, the study's authors did not detect a role for other previously unidentified CNVs in type 1 diabetes heritability.