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This Week in Science : Feb 3, 2012

In a report published online in advance in Science this week, Duke University's Robin Hopkins and Mark Rausher discuss the strength of reinforcing selection in nature "by demonstrating strong selection favoring an allele conferring increased pigment intensity in the plant Phlox drummondii in areas of sympatry with the closely related species P. cuspidata," they write. Hopkins and Rausher also say non-random pollinator movement is behind such reinforcing selection in P. drummondii and P. cuspidata.

Over in this week's issue, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle report "a genome representing the as-yet uncultured marine group II Euryarchaeota, assembled de novo from 1.7 percent of a metagenome sequenced from surface seawater." The team says its study demonstrates that high-coverage mate-paired sequence "can overcome assembly difficulties caused by inter-strain variation in complex microbial communities, enabling inference of ecosystem functions for uncultured members."

And in Science Signaling, researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine and the University of Basel show that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, "PAS kinase promotes cell survival and growth through activation of Rho1." Upon isolating PSK1 and PSK2 in a suppressor screen of a temperature-sensitive mutant of target of rapamycin 2, or TOR2, the team found that "post-translational activation of yPASK, either by cell integrity stress or by growth on nonfermentative carbon sources, also suppressed the growth defect resulting from tor2 mutation," it writes.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.