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Genome Research Studies Explore Y Chromosome Expression, Mutations From Aging Macaque Dads, More

Investigators at the Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and elsewhere share findings from a gene expression analysis focused on genes stemming from the Y sex chromosome in 36 human tissue types from hundreds of male or female participants. From the quantitative gene expression analyses, the team tracked down Y chromosome genes with enhanced expression in non-reproductive tissue types, including a Y chromosome-encoded translation initiation factor expressed in heart tissue from male participants profiled. "Divergence between the X and Y chromosomes in regulatory sequence can therefore lead to tissue-specific Y chromosome-driven sex biases in expression of critical, dosage-sensitive regulatory genes," the authors suggest.

University of Liege researchers report on a sequencing-based strategy for finding relatively low levels of mastitis infection in milk samples collected from farm tanks. "Biological products of importance in food (for instance, milk) and medical (for instance, donor blood-derived products) sciences often correspond to mixtures of samples contributed by multiple individuals," the authors write, and may call for methods making it possible to find the source and proportion of samples containing a given product. For their study, for example, the investigators spelled out the shallow whole-genome sequencing and SNP-based deconvolution method they used to find sub-clinical levels of mastitis in samples from milk tanks containing contributions from hundreds of cows.

An Indiana University-led team tracks de novo mutations and more in male rhesus macaques, uncovering a rise in de novo mutation rates with mounting paternal age. With the help of whole-genome sequencing, the team tallied the average number of de novo mutations per base pair of sequence that appeared each generation in 32 rhesus macaques from four families. The results pointed to an uptick in new mutations passed on by older rhesus macaque dads, though these alterations did not coincide with sociability traits assessed in the offspring born to the more elderly rhesus macaque fathers in a follow-up analysis on more than 200 macaques.