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This Week in Nature: Aug 31, 2017

In this week's Nature Methods, a Broad Institute-led team reports a new high-throughput approach for single-nucleus RNA sequencing (sNuc-seq). Called DroNc-seq, the technique combines sNuc-seq with droplet technology to enable profiling of nuclei at low cost and high throughput. The researchers describe using their method to profile 39,111 nuclei from mouse and human archived brain samples, demonstrating "sensitive, efficient, and unbiased classification of cell types, paving the way for systematic charting of cell atlases."

The Scan's sister publication, GenomeWeb Daily News, has more on this study here.


And in Nature Ecology & Evolution, investigators from Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University present a genomic analysis of the Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, offering new insights into the spread of Lyme disease in North America. The researchers collected ticks from across the US and southern Canada from 1984 to 2013, and sequenced 146 B. burgdorferi s.s. genomes. They show that the bacterium has "a complex evolutionary history with previously undocumented levels of migration," and that its diversity is ancient. "This means the recent emergence of human Lyme disease probably reflects ecological change … rather than evolutionary change of the bacterium," the authors write.

GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

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.