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This Week in Science: Mar 12, 2010

In an advance, online publication of Science this week, researchers at the Institute for Systems Biology and Complete Genomics, report whole-genome sequences for a family of four. The researchers write that family-based sequencing allows for precision in deciphering recombination sites (to 99.999 percent accuracy), and the identification of rare single-nucleotide polymorphisms. In sequencing the genomes of the mother, father, and their two offspring — one child affected by Miller syndrome, the other by primary ciliary dyskinesia, both recessive disorders — the team was able to identify candidate inherited disease-causing genes. "Our results demonstrate the unique value of complete genome sequencing in families," the authors write.

In Science this week, researchers describe Lgr6 as a marker for the most primitive epidermal stem cells in mammals. Using a knock-in Lgr6 murine model, the team found that the gene was expressed in the earliest embryonic hair placodes. "Prenatal Lgr6+ cells established the hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and interfollicular epidermis," the team wrote, while, postnatally, Lggr6-positive cells executed long-term wound repair and formed new hair follicles.

Researchers at Wuhan University in China report that "glutamate-induced, dendritic protein synthesis is sequentially regulated by Pin1 and PKM signaling," in Science Signaling this week. They show Pin1 — a peptidyl-prolyl isomerase — to be present in dendritic spines and shafts, inhibiting protein synthesis induced by glutamatergic signaling. They also show that Pin1 supression increased dendritic translation.

In Science Translational Medicine this week, an international research team reports an advantage in SIV-infected major histocompatibility complex-heterozygous Mauritian cynomolgus macaques — specifically, this group shows 80-times less chronic viremia than MHC-homozygous animals. In addition, MHC-heterozygous macaques accumulate fewer variants after one year of SIV infection, the authors write.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.