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This Week in PNAS: Jun 12, 2012

In a paper published online in advance in PNAS this week, an international team led by investigators at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología in Madrid presents a single-nucleotide resolution level DNA methylation analysis of newborn and centenarian genomes using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing. Overall, the team reports having found that "the centenarian DNA had a lower DNA methylation content and a reduced correlation in the methylation status of neighboring cytosine-phosphate-guanine throughout the genome in comparison with the more homogeneously methylated newborn DNA."

Elsewhere, Northwestern University's Christopher Kuzawa and his colleagues show that the association of paternal age with offspring telomere length "is cumulative across multiple generations." In the sample they studied, Kuzawa et al., found that "grandchildren of older paternal grandfathers at the birth of fathers have longer telomeres, independent of, and additive to, the association of their father's age at birth with TL [telomere length]," they report.

And researchers at Japan's University of Tsukuba show in PNAS this week that G13997A mtDNA regulates diabetes development, lymphoma formation, and metastasis in a transmitochondrial mouse model.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.