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This Week in Nature: Aug 6, 2015

In Nature Genetics this week, an international group of scientists reports on its identification of five new susceptibility loci for cutaneous malignant melanoma from a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. The newly associated SNPs fall within putative melanocyte regulatory elements, and bioinformatic and expression quantitative trait locus data highlighted candidate genes in the associated regions. GenomeWeb has more on this study here.

And in Nature Methods, researchers from the University of Rochester and the University of California, Santa Cruz, describe a new technique for detecting methyl-modified RNAs when using high-throughput RNA sequencing. Called AlkB-facilitated RNA methylation sequencing, or ARM-seq, the approach involves treating RNA with a dealkylating enzyme before reverse transcription in library preparation. The scientists demonstrated ARM-seq in analyses of budding yeast and human cell lines, and suggest that it has broad utility for identifying previously overlooked methyl-modified RNAs.

The Scan

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.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.