In Science this week, an international research team uses genome sequencing to uncover new details about ancient human migration across Asia, including how horse domestication likely spread. The scientists analyzed the genomes of 74 humans who lived between about 11,000 years and 500 years ago in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Western Asia, and compared the data to genetic information from present-day Asian populations. They found little genetic mixing between groups closely related to the Eastern European hunter-gathers who traveled across Asia and the Botai — an ancient group from the Eurasian steppes that is associated with the earliest horse husbandry — suggesting that the Botai did not learn to raise horses from Western populations as some have thought. The investigators also address questions about how western Indo-European (IE) languages reached South Asia, proposing two waves of genetic admixture, one occurring before the Bronze Age that did not include IE language speakers and one in the Late Bronze Age that did.
The Daily Scan's sister publication, GenomeWeb Daily News, has more on this study here.
And in Science Translational Medicine, a Harvard Medical School-led group shows how sequencing the DNA of a specific gene in T cells can show which early-stage cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) patients are at high risk of more aggressive disease. By sequencing the T cell receptor beta gene in patient skin biopsies, the scientists found that patients with a tumor clone frequency (TCF) of more than 25 percent were 10 times to 15 times more likely to progress than patients with a TCF of lower than 25 percent. Such identification of CTCL patients at high risk for progression could "help identify candidates who may benefit from allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation before their disease becomes treatment-refractory," the authors write.
GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this study here.