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Rett Syndrome Mouse Model Study Points to RNA Editing Possibilities

For a proof-of-principle paper appearing in PNAS this week, a team from the Oregon Health and Science University, the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and the University of Connecticut Health Center demonstrate the possibility of using targeted RNA editing to repair a Rett syndrome-related MECP2 alteration in a mutant mouse model of the neurological condition. Using a MECP2-expressing adeno-associated virus (AAV), the researchers found that they could target a missense guanosine-to-adenosine point mutation in mice without overexpressing the resulting protein, restoring MeCP2 protein expression and reducing Rett-related symptoms in the animals. "Overall, our study supports the idea that a targeted RNA-editing approach has potential to improve symptoms in [a] mouse model of Rett syndrome, and holds promise for other neurological disease models as well," the authors say, noting that "[w]hile AAV-mediated gene expression can endure for years in nonhuman primates, the need for development of new AAV serotypes, with improved widespread tropisms after systemic or more localized delivery methods into the brain, is still pressing."

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.