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This Week in PLOS: Jun 3, 2019

In PLOS Computational Biology this week, a Technion–IIT-led team describes a means of single protein identification involving tri-color fluorescence and plasmonic-nanopore devices. They first simulated the movement of fluorescently tagged proteins through nanopores to find that the resulting optical traces could be run through pattern recognition algorithms to identify most of the proteins in the human proteome. When the researchers then applied their approach to plasma proteome or cytokine panels, they were able to correctly identify about 98 percent of proteins. This, they note, could form the basis of a new whole proteome identification approach that has single-molecule resolution.

An international team of researchers reports in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases that whole-genome sequencing of spotted filter paper was able to yield a near-complete Vibrio cholerae genome. In many regions where cholera is endemic, it is difficult to store and analyze outbreak specimens. The researchers here analyzed stool samples that were first enriched in alkaline peptone water and spotted onto filter paper or then cultured overnight and spotted onto filter paper. Samples stored in this way, they report, could be successfully sequenced and provide epidemiological data on cholera strains.

Researchers from the US and Bulgaria examine the genetic diversity of HIV-1 strains in Bulgaria, in a new PLOS One paper. With a combination of high-throughput real-time PCR based multi-region hybridization assay B/non-B and env/full-length genome sequencing, the researchers found that subtype B had a prevalence of 40 percent in their cohort and that this subtype had the highest prevalence among men who have sex with men. Additionally, the researchers sequenced the full viral genomes from 15 individuals and 22 envelope sequences to find individuals with other viral subtypes.