In this week's Science, a team led by Stanford University researchers presents a model of correlated gene expression underlying the functional networks that synchronize activity in the resting brain. The core set of 136 expressed genes identified by the researchers are primarily responsible for cellular ion channels and other elements of communication between brain cells, suggesting a link with the construction of functional networks in the brain. Several of the genes identified have been implication in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, indicating that problems with neuron connectivity and communication may be factors in these diseases. GenomeWeb has more on this here.
Also in Science, a group of Japanese researchers reports how a specific gene in rice fish appears to determine whether a germ cell becomes an egg or sperm, providing new insights into how the sexual fate of germ cells is determined during vertebrate development. The gene, fox13, is expressed the fish's germ cells, but not in surrounding reproductive tissue. When its expression was disrupted in adult female fish, functional sperm formed in the ovary.