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Nature Paper Describes Framework to Develop Cell Map of Adult Human Body

Members of the NIH Common Fund Human Biomolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) present in Nature this week an overview of the project's mission to develop an open, global framework to advance the creation of a map of cells within the adult human body. HuBMAP intends to support technology development, data acquisition, and detailed spatial mapping for the initiative, integrating its efforts with other funding agencies and research organizations, the researchers say. "We hope this work will be part of a foundation that enables diagnostic interrogation, modelling, navigation, and targeted therapeutic interventions at such an unprecedented resolution to be transformative for the biomedical field," they write.

A genomic and phenotypic study of the offspring of a gene-edited hornless bull is presented in Nature Biotechnology, showing no unintended genomic alterations from the modification. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, previously used TALENs to create a bull without horns, which raised questions about the potential consequences of using such technologies in agriculture. To address this, the scientists performed whole-genome sequencing of six hornless calves, the offspring of one of the hornless bulls and unmodified horned cows. Overall, they found "no remarkable or unexpected findings in the phenotypes or genomes of the offspring with the exception of a single bull calf with one undescended testicle." The study's authors state that their findings will help inform conversations around intentional genomic alterations and future regulatory actions regarding genome-edited animals. The Scan has more on this, here.