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From the Background to the Forefront

MD Anderson Cancer Center's Nicholas Navin started exploring single-cell sequencing as a sort of nights-and-weekend project during his postdoc, the American Association for the Advancement of Science says. Navin has just been awarded the AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award that recognizes promising early career cancer researchers.

"It was kind of a background project that I did in the lab mostly on weekends," Navin tells AAAS. "This was really kind of a high-risk project for me and something I had never [initially] told my advisor about."

As he writes in a related Science Translational Medicine piece, researchers' "poor understanding of clonal diversity [in tumors] stems from the fact that we cannot accurately measure it." Navin adds that he and his lab are now using single-cell sequencing approaches to study not only primary tumors, but also clonal diversity in invasion, metastasis, and the evolution of drug resistance.

Such single-cell sequencing approaches, he predicts, will become key in "early detection, prognostics, noninvasive monitoring, and guiding targeted therapy."

"Perhaps the most immediate clinical application is noninvasive monitoring, in which single-cell sequencing of CTCs can provide a 'liquid biopsy' of the primary and metastatic tumors to monitor therapy response," Navin adds.

The Scan

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.

DNA Biobank Developed for French Kidney Donors, Recipients

The KiT-GENIE biobank described in the European Journal of Human Genetics contains DNA samples, genotyping profiles, immune patterns, and clinical features for thousands of kidney donors or transplant recipients in Nantes, France.

Cardiometabolic Disease May Have Distinct Associations With Microbial Metabolites in Blood, Gut

By analyzing gut microbes in combination with related metabolites in feces and blood, researchers in Nature Communications found distinct cardiometabolic disease relationships at each site.

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.