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Full-Body, Single-Cell Transcriptome Atlas of C. Elegans

Researchers have generated a whole-body, single-cell resolution gene expression atlas of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. As they report in Science Advances, the researchers' atlas of fertile adult worms includes the gene expression profiles of 180 different cell types, encompassing most known C. elegans cell types and more than 18,000 expressed genes. The University of Virginia-led team used their atlas to begin to tease out the relationship between these gene expression programs and cellular function. They, for instance, identified 172 C. elegans genes with similar expression levels across cell types that appear to be involved in basic cellular maintenance and that are conserved across animals, plants, and fungi, suggesting they meet the definition of a housekeeping gene. "Overall, this study is a major step forward toward identifying the key molecular players, whose function or dysfunction defines the functional status of the intracellular and intercellular gene networks that constitute an animal," the researchers write.

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.