A new method for identifying differential RNA modifications is reported in Nature Biotechnology this week. Aiming to overcome the technical challenges that have faced the quantification of RNA modifications, a team led by scientists from the Genome Institute of Singapore developed xPore, a computational method and statistical framework that defines measures of significance and effect size for differential RNA modifications from nanopore direct RNA-seq data. Unlike other approaches, xPore does not require an unmodified control sample, and it enables simultaneous profiling of differential transcript expression and modification across conditions without any additional experiments. "With direct RNA-seq becoming widely available, we propose that differential modification analysis can complement differential expression analysis and provide insights into the complex landscape of RNA modifications and their roles in diseases," the researchers write.
A multi-omic analysis of mouse neutrophils is published in Nature Aging this week, offering new insights into how these key players in the innate immune response are regulated over time and between the sexes. Because neutrophils are so short-lived, their impact of aging on neutrophil biology, especially as a function of biological sex, remains poorly understood. To investigate, a group led by University of Southern California researchers generated a resource covering transcriptome, metabolome, and lipidome profiling of primary bone-marrow neutrophils from young and old female and male mice. They uncover widespread regulation of neutrophil omics landscapes with aging and biological sex including transcriptional regulation of chromatin-related pathways. They also use the resource to predict sex differences in serum levels of neutrophil elastase in control and sepsis-like conditions.