Research Highlights

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  • A study in Nature Communications shows that horizontal transfer of bacterial chromosomes by phage-mediated lateral transduction renders them more mobile than many classically defined mobile genetic elements, including plasmids and transposons.

    • Dorothy Clyde
    Research Highlight
  • A study in Cell describes how non-coding RNAs can drive the formation of higher-order RNA-chromatin structures in the nucleus, with a role in mediating chromatin conformation and gene expression.

    • Joseph Willson
    Research Highlight
  • Two recent studies demonstrate that putative nucleases encoded by IS200/IS605 family transposons are programmable RNA-guided DNA endonucleases, which could represent a new source of genome-editing enzymes for biotechnological applications.

    • Grant Otto
    Research Highlight
  • A study in Nature Biotechnology describes single-cell genome and epigenome by transposases sequencing (scGET-seq), which generates euchromatin and heterochromatin profiles from the same cell, and Chromatin Velocity, a computational framework capable of predicting future epigenetic cell fate trajectories from scGET-seq data.

    • Dorothy Clyde
    Research Highlight
  • A study in Nature describes single-cell ribosome sequencing, which advances single-cell genomics by enabling the measurement of translational dynamics in single cells.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
    Research Highlight
  • Three recent studies report the generation of miniature CRISPR systems based on compact Cas effector proteins, showing high efficiency of genome editing or transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells.

    • Linda Koch
    Research Highlight
  • Four new studies in Nature report multi-tissue analyses of somatic mutations from human donors, with insights into cell lineage commitment during embryonic development, as well as tissue-specific aspects of mutagenesis.

    • Darren J. Burgess
    Research Highlight
  • This molecular phenotyping study shows that common variants in mitochondrial DNA associated with diseases of ageing influence cellular protein homeostasis, and that this link is mediated by circulating levels of N-formylmethionine, the initiating amino acid in mitochondrial protein synthesis.

    • Caroline Barranco
    Research Highlight
  • A new study in Nature reports a large-scale genome-wide association study of menopause timing, revealing mechanistic details and potential therapeutic opportunities for preserving human fertility.

    • Darren J. Burgess
    Research Highlight
  • Attempts to understand the role of aneuploidy in tumorigenesis have been hampered by conflicting results. Now, two new mouse models described in Genes and Development provide evidence that chromosome instability-induced aneuploidy drives T cell lymphomagenesis.

    • Dorothy Clyde
    Research Highlight
  • Juliusdottir et al. use pedigree data to dissect the contributions of parental and fetal genomes to fetal growth and adult disease.

    • Joseph Willson
    Research Highlight
  • Capturing rare protein-coding variation by whole-exome sequencing in large and diverse population samples can help identify large-effect associations and drug targets, suggest two recent publications.

    • Linda Koch
    Research Highlight
  • A new study by Ahn et al. shows that chimeric proteins containing intrinsically disordered regions mediate oncogenesis by inducing liquid–liquid phase separation and thereby affecting chromatin conformation and transcription.

    • Grant Otto
    Research Highlight
  • A study in Cell describes the discovery of a conserved set of small non-coding RNAs that are glycosylated in diverse cell types. These glycoRNAs are found at the surface of cells, where they can participate in extracellular interactions.

    • Dorothy Clyde
    Research Highlight
  • The Vertebrate Genomes Project, which aims to produce high-quality reference genomes for all 71,657 living and named vertebrate species, reports the generation of high-quality genome assemblies for the first 16 species and describes the biological findings that these genomes have informed.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
    Research Highlight
  • A new study in Science reports the extraction and analysis of ancient hominid nuclear DNA from Paleolithic sediments. This advance paves the way to a fuller picture of human evolution by bypassing the dependency on rare skeletal remains.

    • Dorothy Clyde
    Research Highlight
  • Xia et al. highlight an unexpected horizontal gene transfer event, whereby the sweet potato whitefly has harnessed a host plant detoxification mechanism to resist its defences.

    • Ingrid Knarston
    Research Highlight
  • Two studies co-published in Nature Genetics describe induced pluripotent stem cell-based resources for identifying novel, disease-related genetic variants.

    • Joseph Willson
    Research Highlight
  • Two new studies in Science use lineage tracking in humans to show that among the first few embryonic cells originating from post-fertilization cell divisions, there can be substantial imbalance in their contributions to mature tissues.

    • Darren J. Burgess
    Research Highlight