Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nature: Dec 17, 2015

In Nature Biotechnology this week, a Stanford University team reports on the use of next-generation sequencing to study bacterial diversity in gut microbiomes. The team used a long-read sequencing approach called TruSeq Synthetic Long-Read sequencing, combining it with computational tools for metagenomic long-read assembly. They identified 178 bacterial species, including 51 that were previously uncharacterized, and discovered greater-than-expected diversity within microbial strains.

And in Nature Medicine, a group led by scientists from Washington University describes a method for finding complex insertions and deletions in next-generation sequencing data from cancer studies. Using a novel module in the Pindel algorithm, which they dubbed Pindel-C, they analyzed about 8,000 samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas, finding almost 300 complex indels in cancer-linked genes, many of which that had previously been misidentified. Several of the mutations also appeared clinically relevant and could potentially be used to guide treatment regimens. GenomeWeb has more on this study, here.

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.