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This Week in Science: Jan 10, 2014

In this week's Science, researchers from the Karolinska Institute report the results of an analysis of genome-wide allelic expression patterns in individual cells of mouse preimplantation embryos. They found "abundant" monoallelic expression of autosomal genes and that the expression of the two alleles occurs independently. The monoallelic expression appeared random and dynamic, and similar expression patterns were observed in mature cells, leading the team to conclude that "independent and stochastic allelic transcription generates abundant random monoallelic expression in the mammalian cell."

GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

Meanwhile, in Science Translational Medicine, an international team of scientists publish data indicating that a gene already implicated in cancer, arthritis, and neurological disease may also be involved in allergies. Using RNAi interference to knock down transcription factors that regulate cytokine interleukin-13 followed by expression analysis, the researchers identified a T helper 2 cell module containing a gene that, when deleted, decreased signs of allergy. The gene was also found to be required by dendritic cells for activating T cells, making it a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target.

The Scan

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.

Study Examines Relationship Between Cellular Metabolism, DNA Damage Repair

A new study in Molecular Systems Biology finds that an antioxidant enzyme shifts from mitochondria to the nucleus as part of the DNA damage response.

Stem Cell Systems Target Metastatic Melanoma in Mouse Model

Researchers in Science Translational Medicine describe a pair of stem cell systems aimed at boosting immune responses against metastatic melanoma in the brain.

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.