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Study Finds RNA Editing Potential for Bird Enzymes Active at High Temperatures

In an effort to find improved "site-directed RNA editing" (SDRE) tools, researchers from Bar-Ilan University and other centers in Israel and the US explore "adenosine deaminase acting on RNA" (ADAR) enzymes involved in RNA editing events that swap adenosine bases out for inosine, focusing on ADAR candidates from bird species that have evolved to function at relatively high temperatures. As they explain in PLOS Genetics, they expressed numerous ADARs in editing-naïve Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells, flagging ADARs from the hummingbird and mallard duck as particularly adept RNA editing tools at elevated temperatures. "Our results indicate that species evolved to live with higher core body temperatures have developed ADAR enzymes that target weaker [double-stranded RNA] structures and would therefore be more effective than other ADARs," the team notes. "Further studies may use this approach to isolate additional ADARs with an editing profile of choice to meet specific requirements, thus broadening the applicability of SDRE."

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.