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This Week in Science: Oct 14, 2011

In a paper published online in advance in Science this week, Miyuki Sato and Ken Sato at Gunma University in Japan show that fertilization-triggered autophagy is "required for the elimination of paternal mitochondria in Caenorhabditis elegans." Sato and Sato show that, consequently, such autophagy is also responsible for "maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA" in the roundworm.

In this week's Science, a team led by investigators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center shows that "enteric viruses exploit intestinal microbes for replication and transmission." Meanwhile, a separate team led by researchers at the University of Chicago says that "successful transmission of a retrovirus depends on the commensal microbiota."

Elsewhere in this week's Science, investigators in Switzerland discuss "the dynamic architecture of Hox gene clusters, saying that "spatial compartmentalization may be key to process [their] colinear activation." The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Joseph Yeeles and Kenneth Marians show that the E. coli replisome is "inherently DNA damage tolerant."

In this week's Science Express, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and their collaborators show that inactivation of the repressor BCL11A in sickle-cell disease transgenic mice "corrects the hematologic and pathologic defects associated with SCD through high-level pancellular HbF induction." Further, such "interference with HbF silencing by manipulation of a single target protein is sufficient to reverse SCD," the authors add.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.