Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in PLoS: May 25, 2009

In PLoS Computational Biology this week, Michael Brudno published his short read aligner, SHRiMP, or SHort Read Mapping Package, which is a "set of algorithms and methods to map short reads to a genome, even in the presence of a large amount of polymorphism." The software is based on a fast read mapping technique for both regular letter-space and AB SOLiD, or color-space, reads. SHRiMP is free and available here.

A paper in PLoS Genetics looks at obesity susceptibility loci for African Americans. To find loci affecting BMI, or body mass index, scientists performed a pooled GWAS of 15,280 African Americans from 14 epidemiologic studies. In obese people, they found two loci with increased African ancestry on chromosome X and one locus with increased European ancestry on chromosome 5. Their results "suggest that genetic factors may contribute to the difference in obesity prevalence between African Americans and European Americans," they write in the author summary.

In PLoS One, Spanish researchers performed shotgun sequencing on an extinct, 6,000 year-old bone sample from a caprine, Myotragus balearicus, from the Balearic Islands. They found that only .27% of the resulting sequences were endogenous and that "despite being in an unfavourable thermal environment...[the] study demonstrates that it is possible to obtain genomic data from extinct species from temperate regions."

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.