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Study Traces Bladder Cancer Risk Contributors in Organ Transplant Recipients

For a paper appearing in eLife, researchers at the National Cancer Institute, Leidos Biomedical Research, and elsewhere look at potential contributors to bladder cancer risk in immunosuppressed solid organ transplant recipients, including the presence of potentially oncogenic DNA viruses such as the BK polyomavirus (BKPyV), which was previously found in up to one-quarter of transplant recipients' tumors. Using a combination of whole-genome sequencing and RNA sequencing, the team found recurrent somatic mutations, mutation signatures, and viral sequences in archived tumor samples from 43 solid organ transplant recipients who went on to develop bladder cancer. Along with mutation signatures linked to APOBEC3 mutagenesis and other mutations or environmental exposures, the authors tracked down BKPyV sequences in nine tumor samples, while flagging sequences from other viruses in more than a dozen additional samples. From these and other results, they suggest that "a subset of tumors of solid organ transplant recipients develop through distinct mutagenic processes compared to the general population," and argue that their results "indicate multiple distinct mechanisms of carcinogenesis in bladder cancers of solid organ transplant recipients that may have implications for prevention, treatment, and outcome."

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.