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This Week in PLoS: Feb 22, 2010

In PLoS ONE this week, German researchers present a flow cytometry-based FRET assay to examine protein-protein interactions within cells. Using a combination of FRET and fluorescence-activated cell sorting techniques, the team analyzed the interactions of HIV and SIV proteins Nef and Vpu with cellular factors. The researchers write that they’ve adapted their assay to “to allow the identification of novel protein interaction partners in a high-throughput format.”

Researchers in Australia and France describe their sequencing and analyses of the Legionella longbeachae bacterial genome and transcriptome in PLoS Genetics this week. The team suggests that their findings may uncover strategies for further research of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia which can be caused by L. longbeachae.

Also in PLoS Genetics, a team of researchers describe their genome-wide association study, which identifies susceptibility variants for type 2 diabetes in a Han Chinese population. Fuu-Jen Tsai of the China Medical University in Taiwan and colleagues performed a two-stage GWAS ― first with 995 patients and 894 controls, and then with 1,803 patients and 1,473 controls ― using Illumina technologies. Tsai et al. found two loci ― at protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type D (PTPRD) and serine racemase (SRR) ― which had not been previously noted for their association with type 2 diabetes risk.

Researchers at Life Technologies present a whole-methylome sequencing study using ultradeep sequencing and two-base encoding. “Through the introduction of next-generation sequencing technologies, simultaneous analysis of methylation motifs in multiple regions provides the opportunity for hypothesis-free study of the entire methylome,” the team writes. Their paper, published in PLoS ONE this week, also outlines the advantages and disadvantages using of two different bisulfate conversion methods with their SOLiD system.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.