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This Week in Science: Jun 10, 2016

In Science this week, a Harvard-led group reports on the use of the genome-editing technology CRISPR to record DNA events in bacteria. CRISPR is known to "record" past viral infections by storing spacers — short stretches of viral DNA — in the genome. The researchers show that these spacers are added in sequence, essentially creating a timeline of when spacers are added relative to each other. They also show that different spacers are more readily adopted than others and that a variety of spacers can be applied over time, laying the groundwork for "a multimodal intracellular recording device."

Also in Science, a team of Swiss and US researchers present a detailed characterization of liver mitochondrial function in a mouse genetic reference population, demonstrating the power of new proteomics and metabolomics technologies. By analyzing large sets of genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data, the investigators measured the metabolic function of nearly 400 of the mice under various environmental conditions. They collected detailed quantitative information from the animals' livers on over 25,000 transcripts, and integrated these data with quantitation of more than 2,500 proteins and nearly 1,000 metabolites. In addition to validating links between genetic variants toward transcripts, proteins, metabolites, and phenotypes, the findings demonstrate that next-generation proteomics and metabolomics techniques are fit to complement transcriptomics, genomics, and phenomics for transomic analyses of complex traits, the authors say.