Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Genome Research: Dec 9, 2015

A large, international team describes an effort to build and expand bioinformatics capacity across Africa. As part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa, or H3Africa, members of that and other large initiatives on the continent developed a pan-African bioinformatics network known as H3ABioNet that's designed to deal with tens of thousands of samples analyzed for H3Africa. "The network will … contribute to H3Africa and other genomics projects through its legacy of developing and providing access to computing infrastructure," authors of the paper note. "It is responding to the needs of the projects by developing new and supporting existing algorithms, workflows, data management systems and data integration platforms."

UK researchers report on findings from an effort to improve, annotate, and analyze pig sex chromosomes. The team generated a draft assembly for the Y chromosome, using Duroc pig DNA, a combination of BAC and fosmids clone sequencing, optical mapping, and fluorescence in situ hybdrization on individual DNA molecule fibers. The resulting sequence served as a source of information on male-specific genes and genes on the Y chromosome that appear to have been present in the ancestral form of the chromosome. As part of their broader look at X and Y chromosome evolution in pigs, the study's authors also improved on the existing X chromosome assembly, identifying protein-coding genes on the female sex chromosome that are shared with humans and others that are pig specific.

Researchers from the US, China, and elsewhere present a strategy for producing genomic diversity within synthetic yeast chromosomes by targeting so-called loxPsym recombination target sites in Saccharomyces cerevisiae developed for the Sc2.0 synthetic yeast genome project. The team tested this approach — known as "synthetic chromosome rearrangement and modification by loxPsym-mediated evolution," or SCRaMbLE — on a specific yeast synthetic chromosome arm. After introducing rearrangements at dozens of sites targeted by a recombinase enzyme in 64 synthetic yeast strains, the study's authors turned to deep sequencing to identify hundreds of deletions, duplications, inversions, or complex rearrangements created through the SCRaMbLE process.