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This Week in Nature: Jun 1, 2017

In this week's Nature Communications, an international team of researchers presents an analysis of ancient Egyptian mummy DNA, providing insights into the population history of modern-day Egyptians. The researchers present 90 ancient Egyptian mitochondrial genomes, as well as genome-wide data sets from three individuals obtained from Egyptian mummies, and show that these ancient Egyptians were more genetically similar to Near Easterners than modern Egyptians. The investigators also show that the Sub-Saharan genetic components seen in modern Egyptians are a relatively recent addition. GenomeWeb has more on this study, here.

And in Nature Biotechnology, a group from the University of California, San Francisco, describes a method for ultra-high-throughput single-cell genomic sequencing. The approach — dubbed SiC-seq — uses droplet microfluidics to isolate, fragment, and barcode the genomes of single cells, followed by Illumina sequencing of pooled DNA. The team was able to use the technique to sequence more than 50,000 cells per run in a synthetic community of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and fungi, with the sequenced genomes then sorted in silico based on characteristic sequences. "The ability to routinely sequence large populations of single cells will enable the de-convolution of genetic heterogeneity in diverse cell populations," the authors write.