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Somatic Mutations Increase in Post-Treatment Blood Samples from Pediatric Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy appears to boost the prevalence of somatic mutations in peripheral blood cell samples from former pediatric cancer patients, according to research slated to appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. Using a low-coverage sequencing method known as "enzymatically cleaved and optimal sequencing," or EcoSeq, researchers from Japan's National Cancer Center Research Institute and the University of Tsukuba characterized somatic mutations in blood samples collected from pediatric sarcoma patients before and after chemotherapy treatment, documenting a significant rise in somatic mutation frequencies that persisted for up to years. "Chemotherapy was shown to have significantly induced somatic mutations in normal peripheral blood cells, likely reflecting those in hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow," they report, noting that "chemotherapy enriched the mutational signature associated with prior platinum-based chemotherapy."

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.