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PLOS Papers on Neurogenesis, Gene-Diet GWAS, Husavirus

In PLOS Genetics, researchers from Tongji University and other centers in China follow early neocortex neurogenesis in a transgenic mouse model using fluorescent reporter labeling, sequential RNA sequencing, single-cell RNA-seq, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, and functional assays. The team's combined imaging, transcriptomic, and regulatory analyses highlight gene expression shifts and histone changes contributing to differentiation in Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells and other early differentiating neurons, along with related regulatory lncRNAs. "Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of the genetic and epigenetic programs during neuronal differentiation and would help bring new insights into the early cortical neurogenesis process, particularly the differentiation of CR neurons," the authors report.

A University of Georgia-led team presents findings from a genome-wide association study focused on interactions between genes and response to fish oil supplementation for another paper in PLOS Genetics. Starting with genotyping profiles and other data for nearly 74,000 individuals from the UK Biobank project, the researchers searched for genetic loci coinciding with serum triglyceride (TAG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total cholesterol, leading to a minor allele variant linked to lower TAG levels after fish oil supplementation in the discovery cohort and in nearly 7,300 more individuals. "This research suggests that inter-personal variation in TAG response to fish oil supplementation is in part explained by genotype," they write, "and that fish oil dose adjustment based on genotype should be investigated as a means to protect against cardiovascular disease risk."

For a paper in PLOS One, investigators from Brazil, India, and the US take a look at potential sources for Husaviruses (HuV) from the Picornavirales order, starting with samples from individuals in northern, northeastern, and southern Brazil. With the help of next-generation sequencing, culturing, and parasitological testing, the team searched for HuVs in fecal samples from than 250 Brazilian children or adults with acute gastroenteritis, uncovering five children with HuV-positive samples. When they compared the sequences from those isolates with HuV genomes reported in the past, the authors flagged two HuV clades in South America, while detecting genetic similarities between the HuVs in Brazil and those previously described in Vietnam.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.