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This Week in Nature: Jul 27, 2017

In this week's Nature, an international research team reports the sequencing and de novo assembly of 150 genomes from the GenomeDenmark project with mate-pair libraries extending up to 20 kilobases. The quality of the assemblies is similar to those obtained using the more expensive long-read technology and were used to identify a set of structural variants including many novel insertions, as well as to demonstrate how this variant catalog enables the investigation of known association mapping signals. The study "provides a regional reference genome that we expect will improve the power of future association mapping studies and hence pave the way for precision medicine initiatives," the authors write. GenomeWeb has more on this here.

And in Nature Nanotechnology, a group of University of Washington scientists describes how spatial constraints can be used to overcome limitations of speed and modularity in DNA computing. In their study, they create logic gates and signal transmission lines by spatially arranging reactive DNA hairpins on a DNA origami. "Signal propagation is demonstrated across transmission lines of different lengths and orientations and logic gates are modularly combined into circuits that establish the universality of our approach," the authors write. Further, because reactions preferentially occur between neighbors, identical hairpins can be reused across circuits. Meanwhile, co-localizing circuit elements cuts computation time from hours to minutes versus circuits with diffusible components.

The Scan

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.

Topical Compound to Block EGFR Inhibitors May Ease Skin Toxicities, Study Finds

A topical treatment described in Science Translational Medicine may limit skin toxicities seen with EGFR inhibitor therapy.

Dozen Genetic Loci Linked to Preeclampsia Risk in New GWAS

An analysis of genome-wide association study data in JAMA Cardiology finds genetic loci linked to preeclampsia that have ties to blood pressure.

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.