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This Week in PNAS: Jun 5, 2012

An international team led by investigators at the University of California, San Diego, show that the elimination of one or both of the two sialic acid-recognizing Ig-like lectins — or Siglecs, signaling receptors that modulate immune responses — "represents signatures of infectious and/or other inflammatory selective processes contributing to population restrictions during hominin origins," it writes in a paper published online in advance in PNAS this week.

A public-private collaboration led by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine presents evidence suggesting a fundamental role for the GBA gene in immune regulation, and that GBA mutations in Gaucher disease "may cause widespread immune dysregulation through the accumulation of substrates," the group writes.

Elsewhere in this week's PNAS Early Edition, Harvard University's Daniel Hartl and his colleagues report their use of 15 Drosophila Y chromosomes "originating from a single founder 550 generations ago to study the role of the Y chromosome in regulating rRNA gene transcription, position-effect variegation, and the link among rDNA copy number, global gene expression, and chromatin regulation," they write. Overall, Hartl et al. report having found that "the Y chromosome is involved in diverse phenomena related to transcriptional regulation including X-linked rDNA silencing and suppression of PEV [position-effect variegation] phenotype."

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.