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This Week in Science: Dec 18, 2009

With the end of the year nigh, Science takes a look back at how its predictions for 2009 fared. It did OK saying that plant genomics was going to take off — cucumber, sorghum, maize, cassava and oil palm. For next year, Science says to keep an eye on iPS cells, exome sequencing, among other areas.

A news story looks deeper into the circumstances surrounding retractions of Science and the Journal of the American Chemical Society papers describing work out of Peter Schultz's lab. Though the retractions were short, saying that the work couldn't be duplicated and some original labs notes were lost, this story says it was a much darker affair that included extortion and suicide threats. "There was somebody who did this, really turned lives upside down, and made doing science a lot harder than it had to be," says Scripps president Richard Lerner.

Rob Knight and his colleagues report on the microbiome of healthy adults, as sampled over time. They took samples from the unrelated volunteers of both sexes from their gut, mouth, ear, nose, hair, and 18 skin sites. They then studied the variable region 2 of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to classify the bacteria present. They found bacteria from 22 different phyla, though four phyla were most common: Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes.

The Scan

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.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.