Volume 38 Issue 6, June 2006
News & Views
Agnosticism and equity in genome-wide association studies
Two new studies evaluate the extent to which widely used SNP platforms capture common variation in different populations, and they present strategies for improving power in whole-genome association studies using fixed marker sets. Their results suggest that genome-wide association studies are finally ready to move from theory to practice.
Seeing the light
Flowering at the appropriate time is critical to ensure that plants complete sexual reproduction before the onset of winter in temperate habitats. A new study provides the first strong evidence that variation at a photoreceptor gene contributes to variation in flowering time and does so in a latitude-dependent manner.
The multitasking genome
The identification of hundreds of thousands of clusters of transcriptional start sites, many located within internal exons of protein-coding genes, indicates that promoter sites are common and that transcriptional organization is complex. This transcriptional architecture implies that most genomic regions serve multiple functions.
Predictable trends in protein noise
The process of gene expression is inherently stochastic and leads to differences in protein abundance from one cell to another. A new study shows that this protein noise is unexpectedly predictable, providing important new insights into the properties and origins of variability in gene expression.
microRNAs are a considerable part of the transcriptional output of the genomes of plants and animals, they regulate a large part of their transcriptomes, and they serve important regulatory functions in widespread biological activities.