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This Week in Science: Nov 6, 2009

In early online publication in Science this week, scientists from Complete Genomics, Harvard Medical School, and Washington University have used the company's nanoarray technology to sequence three human genomes. The process generated an average, they say, of 45- to 87-fold coverage and 3.2 to 4.5 million variants per genome. An article at GenomeWeb Daily News details their findings.

In other work, scientists led in part by those at the Broad Institute and of the Horse Genome Project report a draft sequence of the domestic horse, Equus caballus. Interestingly, they found that chromosome 11 has an evolutionary new centromere "devoid of centromeric satellite DNA, suggesting that centromeric function may arise before satellite repeat accumulation," they say. The work has been ongoing for a decade, says a story at GWDN, and even The Economist is excited that the horse has finally gotten its turn to be sequenced.

Scientists at INSERM in Paris have helped lead work that used a lentiviral vector introduced into stem cells to slow the progression of a fatal brain disorder called X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. In two patients without matched bone marrow donors, they introduced a wild-type version of the ALD gene into their hematopoietic stem cells and then put the cells back into the patients. They found that they could detect gene expression in the boys' blood cells two years later and both showed improvement and a slow in disease progression. A perspective, a Wired story, and an article in the New York Times all add insight.

In a metagenomic study, Spanish scientists have analyzed the virome of an Antarctic lake viral community and found an "unexpected genetic richness." The community of viruses had a large proportion of never-indentified single-stranded viruses and that during ice melt, the community shifted from single-stranded to double-stranded DNA viruses, "possibly reflecting a seasonal shift in host organisms," they say in the abstract.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.