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This Week in Nature: Jan 12, 2017

In this week's Nature, researchers from Canada's University Health Network and collaborators report on the results of a whole-genome sequencing study of prostate cancer, offering new insights into the genetics underlying progression of the disease. The investigators analyzed 200 whole-genome sequences of indolent prostate cancer tumors and found different mutational profiles between localized intermediate-risk prostate cancer and advanced metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer. These differences, they write, may help clinicians select the appropriate treatment for specific patients.

And in Nature Communications, the same research team focused on a specific form of aggressive prostate cancer that is characterized by mutations in the BRCA2 gene. By analyzing the genomes of tumors from 14 patients with BRCA2-mutant prostate cancer, they discovered alterations in genes that have previously been associated with metastatic disease and might help explain the tumors' aggressiveness.

GenomeWeb has more on those two studies here.

Meanwhile, in Nature Methods, a group from the University of British Columbia describes a new method for whole-genome single-cell library preparation that does not require pre-amplification. Dubbed direct library preparation (DLP), the scalable technique uses nanoliter-volume transposition reactions for single-cell whole-genome library preparation. The investigators noted that DLP is not meant to capture complete single-cell genomes but to provide "high-resolution single-cell copy-number profiles while producing high-quality bulk genomes in a single sequencing experiment." The researchers say that it may provide an attractive replacement for conventional bulk sequencing methods, permitting analysis of copy number at the cell level and of other genomic variants at the population level. GenomeWeb also has more on this here.