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Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

A Stanford University team presents a plant root reprogramming strategy that relies on synthetic transcriptional regulator-based genetic circuits for a paper in Science. By controlling gene expression in specific root cell types with synthetic DNA delivered with Agrobacterium tumefaciens bacteria, the researchers put together more than 1,000 genetic circuits, including circuits that successfully tweaked root gene expression and related root features in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant model — a strategy that may ultimately help plants respond to environmental stressors such as climate change. The study's authors caution that "[r]eprogramming crops using synthetic genetic circuits will require careful tuning." Even so, they suggest that "methods for programming novel traits in plants will become increasingly useful as climate challenges grown and new agricultural solutions are needed."

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.