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Gold Champion Cells

A line of bone marrow stem cells from Singapore has won the first ever World Cell Race, held at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology last week, reports Ivan Semeniuk at the Nature News blog. The race's organizers were happy with the turnout — 50 labs participated, and 70 cell lines were recorded. The gold medal champion cells "whizzed across a petri dish at the breakneck speed of 5.2 microns per minute — or 0.000000312 kilometers per hour," Semeniuk says. During the awards ceremony, the organizers gave the "tortoise award" to a line of modified mouse embryonic fibroblasts from the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey at Stratford, for moving most persistently and without changing direction, Semeniuk adds. But it's not all fun and games — the serious objective behind the competition was to examine how different cells move, and compare them with one another.

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.