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Cell Papers Genome of Ancient Woman From Romania, Translatome Analysis of Tomatoes

Researchers have sequenced the genome of a 34,000-year-old woman whose remains were found in Peştera Muierii, Romania, in a new paper appearing in Current Biology. By comparing her genome to those of other individuals from the Early Upper Paleolithic era, an Uppsala University-led team found a surprisingly high level of genetic diversity among that population and similar levels of deleterious variants as modern-day Europeans. "These data propose a novel paradigm, in which early [anatomically modern human] populations after migration out of Africa were much more diverse than previously believed," the researchers say. Further, despite some Neanderthal-like features, the Peştera Muierii woman harbored about 3.1 percent Neanderthal admixture, similar to other Early Upper Paleolithic humans.

Over in Cell, researchers from the University of California, Davis, profiled ribosome-associated mRNAs within a range of tomato cell populations at different developmental stages and in different growth conditions. Their analysis both uncovered the conservation and the repurposing of transcriptional regulation in the xylem of tomatoes, as compared to Arabidopsis. Further analyses noted translational similarities between the root meristems of tomato, Arabidopsis, and rice. "The meristem is morphologically recognizable across plant species, and our translatome data suggest that this cell population is more developmentally constrained than the others that we characterized," they write.

A University of Groningen-led team of researchers analyzed the gut viromes of 11 adults over time to gauge the effect of introducing a gluten-free diet. As they write in Cell Reports, the researchers sequenced the viral-like particles they isolated from the samples to reconstruct more than 41,000 viral genomes and genome fragments. On average, each person harbored more than 2,000 viral genomes. Following the switch to a gluten-free diet, the researchers noted changes in the abundance of three viral families: crAss-like, Podoviridae, and Virgaviridae. Virgaviridae are known to infect plants like the gluten-containing wheat, barley, and rye. "We further show that the effect of a specific diet on the human gut virome depends on the initial viral diversity and composition — in other words, the dietary intervention had less influence on a more diverse virome," the researchers add.