Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nature: Dec 4, 2014

In Nature this week, researchers from the African Genome Variation Project report the results of its efforts to build a resource for the design, implementation, and interpretation of genomic studies in sub-Saharan Africa with the potential to be extended to other regions. The collaborators assessed the genetic diversity that exists among 1,481 sub-Saharan Africans and sequenced the full genomes of 320 individuals from 18 different ethnic and linguistic groups. From this they were able to identify various genetic regions under positive selection in Africa, including ones ties to malaria and hypertension susceptibility. They also uncovered evidence of a regionally distinct pattern of interbreeding between Eurasian people and African hunter-gatherers. GenomeWeb's Julia Karow has more on this here.

And in Nature Communications, a team of Chinese researchers has published the genome of the mudskipper, an amphibious fish that uses its pectoral fins to move on land and is capable of breathing out of water. The scientists sequenced the genomes of four different species of mudskipper, revealing that the fish diverged from other ray-finned fish around 140 million years ago and then began acquiring genes that helped them adapt to life on land. Such genes may also have helped more ancient vertebrates transition from water to land 360 million years ago. GenomeWeb also covers the mudskipper genome study here.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.