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This Week in Nature: May 26, 2016

In this week's Nature, a team of Japanese scientists report on a previously unknown genetic mechanism used by certain cancers to evade a patient's immune system. The researchers analyzed the whole-genome sequences of 49 adults with T cell leukemia/lymphoma and identified structural variations in 27 percent of the patients that disrupt an untranslated regulatory sequence of PD-L1, a gene encoding a protein known to help cancer cells escape immune responses, causing protein overexpression. Further study revealed the presence of these variations in many common cancer types, pointing to their use as biomarkers of cancers with anti-immunity capabilities. GenomeWeb has more on this study, here

Meanwhile, in Nature Plants, a group of Chinese researchers publishes a high-quality genome assembly of the Para rubber tree, an important tropical tree that produces natural rubber. Their assembly covers 93.8 percent of the genome and contains nearly 44,000 predicted protein-coding genes. They also combined their assembly with an analysis that included the re-sequencing of five other rubber tree cultivars and other RNA-seq data, providing a resource for studying and breeding improved versions of the plant. GenomeWeb also covers this, here.