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This Week in PNAS : Jan 31, 2012

In a paper published online in advance in PNAS this week, researchers at China's Huazhong Agriculture University show that the long non-coding RNA known as long-day-specific male fertility-associated RNA regulates photoperiod-sensitive male sterility, or PSMS, in rice. "Molecular [elucidation] of PSMS has important implications for understanding molecular mechanisms of photoperiod regulation of many biological processes and also for developing male sterile germplasms for hybrid crop breeding," the authors write.

Investigators at the University of Adelaide use two different transplastomic tobacco lines to show that "DNA migration from chloroplasts to the nucleus is markedly increased by mild heat stress." Further, the team shows that "insertion of mitochondrial DNA fragments during the repair of induced double-strand breaks is increased by heat stress."

The University of Iceland's Juan Nogales and his colleagues report their construction of a genome-scale metabolic network for Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, which they say "describes key photosynthetic processes in mechanistic detail." In the team's in silico analysis, it reconstructed the photosynthetic process under different light and inorganic carbon conditions and under genetic perturbations. Among their findings, "we identified two main states of the photosynthetic apparatus: a Ci [inorganic Carbon]-limited state and a light-limited state," Nogales et al. write in PNAS, adding that their study might also "guide bioengineering projects toward optimal biofuel production in photosynthetic organisms."

Elsewhere in this week's Early Edition, Colin Glen and Yuri Dubrova at the University of Leicester show that "exposure to anticancer drugs can result in transgenerational genomic instability in mice." Glen and Dubrova found that "paternal exposure to a wide variety of mutagens can result in transgenerational instability manifesting in their offspring," they write.

The Scan

Boosters Chasing Variants

The New York Times reports that an FDA advisory panel is to weigh updated booster vaccines for COVID-19.

Not Yet

The World Health Organization says monkeypox is not yet a global emergency, the Washington Post reports.

More Proposed for Federal Research

Science reports that US House of Representatives panels are seeking to increase federal research funding.

PLOS Papers on Breast Cancer Metastasis, Left-Sided Cardiac Defects, SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring

In PLOS this week: link between breast cancer metastasis and CLIC4, sequencing analysis of left-sided cardiac defects, and more.