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Volume 52 Issue 7, 2 July 2020

Volume 52 Issue 7

p53 guarding the genome from Cas9

In this issue, Enache, Rendo et al. show that the expression of guide-free Cas9 in human cell lines can lead to DNA damage, thus resulting in p53 activation. This can sometimes result in the emergence or expansion of p53-inactivating mutations. On the cover, p53 is depicted as the ‘watchdog’ of the genome garden. It is trying to bark away Cas9 ‘bunnies’ and prevent them from cutting the DNA. The watchdog and bunnies are based on the crystal structures of p53 and Cas9, respectively.

See Enache et al.

Image: Jeff Day, Oana Enache, Veronica Rendo and Uri Ben-David. Cover Design: Erin Dewalt.

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    When the status quo in science continues to perpetuate ingrained systems of discrimination, inequality and racism, the beneficiaries of these systems must not only reexamine their collective practices but also redress historical injustices through consequential, concrete actions that will lead to change. We cannot focus only on the first steps of listening and learning to build a better, fairer scientific community. We at Nature Genetics fully commit to pledging our energy and efforts toward long-term goals explicitly designed to fundamentally transform how science and its dissemination are conducted.

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    How ‘difficult’ is it for somatic evolution to produce a cell that is capable of leaving the primary tumor and growing in a distant organ? In this issue, Reiter et al. assess genetic diversity across metastatic lesions and identify a tight selective bottleneck preceding distant metastasis.

    • Trevor A. Graham
    • Darryl Shibata
  • News & Views |

    Pachytene Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are abundant small non-coding RNAs expressed in mammalian germ lines. A new study indicates that, among the diverse pool of piRNA sequences, a small number act as highly selective guides that induce cleavage of coding and non-coding transcripts, thus promoting piRNA generation and regulating gene expression.

    • Alexei A. Aravin

Review Articles

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    This review discusses major privacy threats relevant to collection and analysis of genomic data in the context of direct-to-consumer applications and provides suggestions for improving the design of privacy-protecting approaches.

    • Luca Bonomi
    • Yingxiang Huang
    • Lucila Ohno-Machado

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