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Long Intergenic Noncoding RNAs Can Be Tissue Specific, Study Finds

Certain long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) could act as markers of diseased tissue, according to a new study in iScience. A growing body of data suggests that lincRNAs show more tissue-specific expression patterns than protein-coding genes (PCGs), but the molecular basis for this remains unclear. As part of an investigation into lincRNA expression, researchers from the University of Tokyo found that lincRNA loci are significantly enriched in the more internal regions of self-interacting genomic areas known as topologically associating domains (TADs), as compared to PCGs. Notably, they also noted that lincRNAs within TADs have higher tissue specificity than those outside TADs. Based on these findings, the research team developed an analytical framework for interpreting transcriptional status using lincRNAs and applied it to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy data, uncovering lincRNA signatures specific to the heart condition. The findings, the study's authors write, "will contribute to a fundamental understanding of the molecular basis underlying tissue-/disease-specific expression of lincRNAs.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.