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Study Finds Messenger RNA Isoforms Influenced by Transcription Initiation Sites

In Cell, investigators from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, and elsewhere consider regulatory interactions influencing messenger RNA (mRNA) isoform patterns. Using long-read sequencing, together with a combined isoform assembly pipeline and isoform annotation approach, the team quantified full-length mRNA isoforms in Drosophila fruit fly tissues, including from the head, ovaries, and embryos. Along with the presence of dominant promoters influencing transcription splicing and other features, the authors' results suggest that transcription start sites can impact 3' end sites found in tissue from the fruit fly's head, for example — a relationship they also found in human cerebral organoid samples. "Over the past decades, a rich body of work has described coupling mechanisms that coordinate transcription with splicing," the authors explain, noting that the current study offers "an integrated view of mRNA features and their association in individual transcripts."

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.