In this week's Nature, investigators from Harvard Medical School and the Jackson Laboratory publish a study characterizing the consequences of natural genetic diversity on the proteome by combining proteomics and transcriptomics. Using a multiplexed, mass spectrometry-based method for protein quantification and a mouse model containing extensive genetic variation, the group uncovered an extensive network of direct protein-protein interactions, and expect that their strategy will be used to design reproducible rodent models across range of human-relevant phenotypes, for example, in drug metabolism or toxicology studies.
And in Scientific Reports, a team of veterinary researchers in China reports on the use of genome sequencing to identify a highly virulent virus responsible for the deaths of five giant pandas in captivity. Beginning in late 2014, five pandas at the Shanxi Rare Wild Animal Rescue and Research Center in China displayed symptoms of canine distemper virus (CDV), all dying shortly thereafter. After isolating the virus from lung and spleen tissue from one of the infected pandas, the researchers sequenced its genome and identified five mutations not previous found in Asia-1 CDV strains. The researchers concluded giant pandas are susceptible to CDV and call for increased surveillance and vaccination among all captive animals to support conservation efforts.