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This Week in Science: Oct 30, 2015

In this week's Science, a team of National Cancer Institute researchers report data pointing to the existence of immunogenic mutations among patients with common gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, opening the door to the use of personalized immunotherapies for the diseases. The investigators combined next-generation sequencing with high-throughput immunogenic screening to identify a handful of GI cancer patients with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes containing T cells that recognized somatic mutations expressed by the patients' own tumors. This finding, the study's authors note, provide opportunities for the development of personalized vaccines or adoptive cell therapies that target immunogenic tumor mutations in GI tumors and other common epithelial cancers.

 And in Science Translational Medicine, a group led by Mount Sinai scientists described how, by analyzing the medical records and genomic data of 11,000 diabetes patients, they identified three distinct subgroups of type 2 diabetes. Patients in the first subgroup were the youngest and most obese, and were most likely to experience kidney disease and blindness. Patients in the second subgroup were at highest risk for cancer and heart disease, and patients in the third most often experienced heart disease, mental illness, allergy, and HIV infection. A genotypic analysis revealed genetic variants in each of the three categories that matched each one's clinical features. The researchers say that the findings may be used to better diagnose and treat patients, and that the precision medicine approach could be extended to other diseases. GenomeWeb has more on this study, here.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.