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This Week in PLOS: Jun 22, 2015

Researchers from France and Denmark describe mitochondrial DNA patterns detected in ancient bone samples from the extinct steppe bison, Bison priscus, in PLOS One. Using a combination of Illumina sequencing, Sanger sequencing, and PCR amplification on DNA from a 19,000-year-old rib bone sample, the team put together a complete mitochondrial genome sequence for the steppe bison, covered to an average depth of more than 10-fold. The study's authors uncovered more than 90 SNPs when they compared this mitochondrial sequence to that of the American bison, Bison bison.

A New Zealand team reporting in PLOS One presents a liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomic study of Sauvignon Blanc grapes to assess the distribution of proteins that form pesky "protein hazes" in white wine, particularly thaumatin-like proteins and chitinases. The researchers' proteomic analyses uncovered 75 proteins in the Sauvignon Blanc grape skin, while the grape pulp and seed material contained 63 and 35 proteins each, respectively. Both the grape pulp and skin contained proteins associated with protein haze, they note, while the seeds did not.

A PLOS Genetics study by researchers from Germany and Qatar considers correlations between transcriptomic and metabolomic features in blood samples from more than 700 participants in the German KORA F4 cohort. The analysis uncovered apparent ties between levels of 522 transcripts and 114 different metabolites — a collection that the team dubbed the 'human blood metabolome-transcriptome interface.' By folding in pathway and transcription factor clues, the investigators got a look at regulatory features of this network as well.