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Genome Sequences Highlight Variations in Strains Found in TB Vaccines

For a paper in BMC Genomics, a team led by investigators at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences tallies single-nucleotide polymorphisms and small insertion and deletion variants in bacteria found in two versions of the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, developed to prevent tuberculosis. When they compared whole-genome sequences from the BCG Danish 1331 and the BCG Pasteur 1173P2 vaccine strains to one another and to reference genome sequences from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Rv, an M. bovis strain known as AF2122/97, and a M. tuberculosis variant bovis Pasteur 1173P2 BCG strain, the researchers unearthed two previously undetected variants and a nearly 14,600 base pair duplication in the BCG Danish 1331 vaccine strain. The authors also got a look at human T cell antigen epitopes that correspond to each of the vaccine strains. "This study revealed that the present experimentally confirmed human T cell epitopes are highly conserved in both BCG strains and do not reflect any ongoing [evolution]," they conclude. "However, further studies are required to find the association of genetic variations with vaccine variable efficacy and determine the most effective vaccine strain."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.