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This Week in Science: Apr 27, 2007

We've got microRNAs galore in today's edition of Science.

A paper from Rooij et al. at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center used a cardiac-specific microRNA to show that the MHC gene regulates heart growth and stress-related gene expression.

Meanwhile, a paper out of Caltech (Chen et al.) looks at selfish elements in the Drosophila genome that rely on microRNAs to silence a particular gene for embryogenesis.

These papers, from Thai et al. at Harvard Medical School and from Rodriguez, Vigorito, et al. at Sanger and the Babraham Institute, describe the importance of a conserved microRNA in the mammalian immune system.

And if microRNAs aren't your thing, Ishii and colleagues from Keio University report on high-throughput, systems-level studies of genetic and environmental perturbations in E. coli. A perspective for this paper was written by Uwe Sauer et al. on the importance of full system views of organisms.


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.