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This Week in Science: Sep 14, 2013

In this week's Science, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report on the discovery of a network of genes that appears to play a key role in fostering cooperation between cells during the evolution of multicellular organisms. Hypothesizing that embryonic development is protected by regulatory mechanisms that stop "aberrant clones from superseding wild-type cells," the scientists used a genome-wide screen in murine induced pluripotent stem cells to identify genes, including p53, topoisomerase 1, and olfactory receptors, whose downregulation caused cells to replace wild-type cell in vitro and in the mouse embryo — all without disturbing normal development.

Meanwhile, in Science Translational Medicine, a team led by Columbia University researchers publishes a new three-gene signature that can predict the fate of low-risk prostate tumors. Using gene set enrichment analysis, the scientists uncovered a 19-gene signature enriched in low-risk prostate tumors. They then whittled that signature down to three genes that were found to accurately predict in clinical samples, retrospectively, whether the apparently low-risk tumors were actually aggressive or indolent.

GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.