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Regenerative Zebrafish Enhancer Elements Applied in Mice

A team at Duke University has developed an approach to deliver machinery aimed at regenerating tissue into a mouse model of heart attack, as they report Tuesday in Cell Stem Cell. They isolated tissue-regeneration enhancer elements, dubbed TREES, from zebrafish, which control repair-related gene activity at injury sites. By combining TREES with CRISPR-based epigenome editing tools, delivered using an adeno-associated virus, the researchers examined whether these elements could also be effective in adult mammals. In the mice, they found, this approach could boost tissue regeneration and improve heart function. "Here, we find that even in situations of limited regenerative capacity, the transcriptional machinery of small and large adult mammals can recognize and be instructed by TREE sequences from zebrafish, present in transgenes or viral vectors," the researchers write. They add that their work lays the "foundation for new gene-therapy approaches to improve tissue repair in disease settings."

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.