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Team Unravels Alternative End Joining Features in Fruit Fly Model

A team from Tufts University and Washington State University presents findings from an analysis focused on sequences that are particularly prone to alternative end joining — a potentially inaccurate form of double-strand DNA break repair — after being clipped by the Cas9 enzyme used in CRISPR-Cas9-based gene editing. Using deep sequencing and computational analyses, the researchers profiled some 1,100 semi-randomized DNA plasmid constructs that had been injected alongside single-guide RNA into Drosophila fruit fly embryos that expressed the Cas9 enzyme, focusing on synthesis-dependent microhomology-mediated end joining (SD-MMEJ) repair. "We find evidence at single nucleotide resolution for sequence characteristics that drive successful SD-MMEJ repair," the authors write. "These include optimal primer repeat length, distance of repeats from the break, flexibility of DNA sequence between primer repeats, and positioning of microhomology templates relative to preferred primer repeats."

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.