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Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

In PLOS Biology, researchers at Peking University, the Chinese PLA General Hospital, and other centers share findings from a single-cell study centered on blastocyst stage human embryos developed with the help of spindle transfer-based methods for separating nuclear DNA inheritance from the inheritance of mutated maternal mitochondrial DNA. Using a combination of single-cell copy number variant, transcriptome, and DNA methylation profiling methods on nearly 1,400 individual cells, the team compared 46 ST and control blastocysts. While they saw similar gene expression and aneuploidy patterns in both groups of embryos, the authors note that the ST blastocysts appeared to have somewhat delayed trophectoderm tissue DNA demethylation relative to the blastocysts formed without the ST process. "Uncoupling of the inheritance of mtDNA and the nuclear genome by spindle transfer (ST) can potentially prevent the transmission of mtDNA mutations from mother to offspring," they explain, noting that the findings so far "suggest that ST seems generally safe for embryonic development, with a relatively minor delay in the DNA demethylation process at the blastocyst stage."

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.