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This Week in Nature: Aug 20, 2015

In Nature Communications this week, a team from Northwestern University reports the results of a genome-wide association study of polycystic ovary syndrome, an endocrine disorder that can cause infertility. By studying the genetics of a cohort of European women, the scientists identified two loci associated with the condition that are unique to European women, while confirming one already known from work in Chinese women. Among their findings, the researchers discovered that a gene encoding a protein required for egg production was associated with the disorder.

And in Nature Biotechnology, a group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes a new technology for the rapid, scalable assembly of high-order barcoded combinatorial genetic libraries that can be quantified with high-throughput sequencing. They demonstrated how the platform, called CombiGEM, works by using it to create high-coverage libraries of 1,521 two-wise and 51,770 three-wise barcoded combinations of 39 human microRNA precursors. The researchers anticipate that the technology will enable high-throughput profiling of multifactorial genetic combinations that regulate phenotypes of interest.

Also in Nature Biotechnology, researchers from the Max Planck Institute present EasyPhos, a scalable phosphoproteomics platform that allows rapid quantification of hundreds of phosphoproteomes in diverse cells and tissues at a depth of greater than 10,000 sites. They used the technology to generate time-resolved maps of insulin signaling in the mouse liver, revealing the dynamics of this process in vivo. The researchers expect that their method will facilitate other high-throughput phosphoproteomics studies and improve the overall understanding of dynamic cell signaling networks.