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This Week in Genome Biology: Feb 22, 2017

An international team led by investigators in the Netherlands and US present findings from a genome sequencing and comparative genomics study of fungi from the Aspergillus genus, which includes human and animal pathogens, food contaminants, and other species. The researchers started by sequencing 10 new Aspergillus species at the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, comparing the genomes with other available fungal sequences, including Aspergillus species profiled in the past. The sequences also provided a look at Aspergillus biology, reproduction, and phylogenetic relationships.

Researchers from Germany, the Netherlands, the US, and elsewhere report on results from an exome-focused study involving more than 1,100 individuals with Parkinson's disease. The team did exome sequencing on 1,148 individuals with Parkinson's and 503 unaffected control individuals, narrowing in on more than two dozen candidate genes containing an over-representation of loss-of-function mutations in the Parkinson's cases. At least five of the genes appeared to be validated through follow-up functional studies in human cell lines, fruit fly, or Caenorhabditis elegans worm models.

A Korean-led team took a look at genetic variation in five indigenous cattle populations from Africa. The researchers sequenced four dozen representatives from Boran, Ogaden, Kenana, Ankole, and N'Dama cattle populations, comparing the genomes to one another and to sequences from 53 commercial taurine cattle breeds. Along with insights into African cattle diversity, the authors saw signs of selection in the newly sequenced genomes, garnering clues to heat tolerance, pest resistance, and other adaptations in various African breeds.

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.