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This Week in Science: Oct 28, 2011

In a Science paper published online in advance this week, an international team led by investigators in France shows that "upon fertilization, a Caenorhabditis elegans spermatozoon triggers the recruitment of autophagosomes within minutes and subsequent paternal mitochondria degradation." This post-fertilization autophagy of sperm organelles, the authors show, prevents paternal mtDNA transmission in the nematode.

Over in this week's issue, researchers at Columbia University and their colleagues report their generation of mice that express an enzymatically defective Brca1 to test whether the protein's enzymatic function is required for tumor suppression. "We found that this mutant Brca1 prevents tumor formation to the same degree as does wild-type Brca1 in three different genetically engineered mouse models of cancer," the authors write in Science.

This week in Science Signaling, a team led by investigators at Harvard University reports on its investigation of the "proteomic and functional genomic landscape of receptor tyrosine kinase and Ras to extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling." The researchers say their "analysis provides a resource for understanding how output through this clinically relevant pathway is regulated in different contexts."

And in a perspective piece appearing in Science Translational Medicine this week, Harvard University's Yvonne Chen and Stanford University's Christina Smolke present an "overview of recent developments in synthetic biology in the context of translational research," and consider the challenges of bringing synthetic biology to the clinic.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.