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This Week in Science: May 22, 2009

In early online publication this week, Stefanie Dimmeler at Goethe-University Frankfurt showed that a specific miRNA controls angiogenesis in mice. In the work, she and her team found that the miR-17~92 cluster is highly expressed in human endothelial cells and that one in particular, miR-92a, controls angiogenesis. When they overexpressed miR-92a in endothelial cells, it blocked angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. In mice, when they introduced an antagomir to miR-92a, blood vessels grew and the damaged tissue was restored.

Today, Science published the University of Pennsylvania's Sarah Tishkoff's work looking at genetic diversity among African populations. The Daily Scan blogged about it when it was published in the early online edition several weeks ago, and GenomeWeb Daily News reported on the study, which was the largest ever of African genetic diversity.

Histone acetylation and gene expression in mammals are controlled by glycolytic metabolism, finds Craig Thompson at the University of Pennsylvania. His team showed that histone acetylation in mammalian cells is dependent on an enzyme, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)–citrate lyase (ACL), which changes citrate into acetyl-CoA. They also found that ACL is "required for increases in histone acetylation in response to growth factor stimulation and during differentiation, and that glucose availability can affect histone acetylation in an ACL-dependent manner." A perspective delves into the link between glucose metabolism and chromatin changes.

Finally, two papers found candidate plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) receptors using different sys bio methods. One used a yeast two-hybrid screen while another used a "chemical genetic strategy" and microarrays to look for proteins that interact with the ABI family phosphatase components of the ABA response signaling pathway. Both groups identified different members of the same family of proteins, which appear to interact with ABI proteins to form a heterocomplex that can act as the ABA receptor, they say. In a news story, Elizabeth Pennisi follows the hunt for an ABA receptor.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.