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This Week in Science: Jul 29, 2016

In Science, a Broad Institute-led team describes the use of a new single-cell RNA sequencing technique to observe the generation of neurons in the hippocampus of adult mice. Called Div-Seq, the approach combines scalable single-nucleus RNA-seq with pulse labeling of proliferating cells to profile individual dividing cells. The investigators used the method to track the transcriptional dynamics of newborn neurons within the adult hippocampal neurogenic niche, as well as to identify several hundred common neurogenesis genes.

Also in Science this week, a pair of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School discusses the state of precision medicine and ways that hurdles facing its development can be overcome. Despite its promise, the authors say, precision medicine is limited by a number of factors such as insufficient validation of commercially available biomarker diagnostics and uncertainty around how to interpret test results. They also cite the lack of oversight around biomarker research as hindering precision medicine's advancement. They propose, among other things, collaboration between research institutions regulatory bodies in order to coordinate and oversee precision medicine activities, as well as the creation of a centrally hosted and publicly available database for evidence around promising biomarkers.