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This Week in Science: Dec 6, 2012

In Science this week, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine reported on the identification of a complete set of proteins required for mutagenic DNA repair in Escherichia coli, an insight that may lead to new drug targets against pathogens. Using a comprehensive screen, the team identified a network of around 93 genes that function in mutation, many of which operate upstream of activation of stress responses, suggesting that they sense stress. “The results reveal how a network integrates mutagenic repair into the biology of the cell ... demonstrate the centrality of stress responses, and imply that these responses are attractive as potential drug targets for blocking the evolution of pathogens.”

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.