News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature describes a CRISPR–Cas9-based ‘molecular recorder’ that can report on cellular state and cell lineage, in mice, from fertilization through to adulthood.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Cell incorporates metabolic networks into a machine-learning approach to provide mechanistic insights into bacterial antibiotic lethality.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Editorial |

    Genomics has transformed the field of microbiology, but remaining challenges will need to be tackled for its benefits to be felt globally.

  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Science uses experimental and population genomic approaches to examine the molecular underpinnings of evolved pollution resistance in Gulf killifish.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A study of ancient horse genomes, described in Cell, reveals the existence of two now-extinct horse lineages and shows that modern breeding practices reduced genetic diversity in horses.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study reports a genome-wide polygenic score (GPS) that is predictive of obesity, thus providing opportunities for early health interventions.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    An experimental evolution study published in Science demonstrates that non-additive interactions between pollinators (bumblebees) and herbivores (caterpillars) drive rapid evolution in plants.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new spatial transcriptomics techniques published in Nature and Science bring us an important step closer to the goal of achieving transcriptome-wide data at single-cell resolution.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    Two meta-analyses of fecal metagenomics studies report the presence of a microbial signature that is predictive of colorectal cancer.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A fuller understanding of bacterial genomic variation could provide insight into host pathophysiology. A new study in Nature demonstrates that structural variants are highly prevalent in human gut microbiomes and that some associate with host disease risk factors.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study in Science reports the existence of a subpopulation of somatic cells from which ‘elite’ clones emerge that outperform other clones to drive reprogramming.

    • Linda Koch
  • Comment |

    The clinical application of genomic technologies is driving new discoveries that may be relevant to individuals who have previously undergone genetic testing. This Comment highlights the need for a framework to decide whether to recontact patients and inform them of new genetic findings.

    • Noor A. A. Giesbertz
    • , Wim H. van Harten
    •  & Annelien L. Bredenoord
  • Research Highlight |

    In a study in Nature Microbiology, Setoh et al. use deep mutational scanning to speed up viral evolution and identify key determinants of host tropism in Zika virus.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies report substantial temporal and spatial variability in mutagenic signatures caused by APOBEC cytidine deaminases in cancer.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature reveals that N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of RNA occurs co-transcriptionally and is mediated by interactions between histone H3 lysine 36 trimethylation (H3K36me3) and the m6A methyltransferase complex.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlight |

    Nair et al. contrast events at specific super-enhancers after acute and chronic ligand-induced activation and show that biomolecular condensates at these enhancers undergo physical changes over time that affect chromatin conformation and gene expression.

    • Linda Koch
  • Comment |

    A genomics-informed response to infectious disease has great potential to improve individual patient treatment as well as public health. This Comment discusses the ethical, legal and social challenges that will need to be overcome if clinical pathogen genomics is to be implemented successfully.

    • Stephanie B. Johnson
    •  & Michael Parker
  • Comment |

    Variants of unknown significance (VUS) are genetic variants whose association with disease risk is unknown. The authors posit that VUS should not inform clinical decision-making as the benefits of returning this genetic information to patients undergoing genetic testing are outweighed by the potential for harm.

    • Samantha Pollard
    • , Sophie Sun
    •  & Dean A. Regier
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies in Science show that cytosine base editors, but not adenine base editors or CRISPR–Cas9, induce notable off-target single-nucleotide variants in rice and in mouse embryos.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    Three new studies characterize circular RNAs in cancer, with potential functional roles and clinical implications as biomarkers.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    Chromosomal inversions that relocate a limb enhancer establish patterns of asymmetric chromatin contacts, so-called architectural stripes, that result in ectopic gene expression and congenital limb phenotypes, according to a study in Nature Cell Biology.

    • Michelle Trenkmann
  • Research Highlight |

    A new technique named ChIA-Drop combines chromatin interaction analysis (ChIA) with droplet-based and barcode-linked high-throughput sequencing to capture multiplex chromatin interactions at the single-molecule level.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A study published in Nature reports the functional and structural characterization of CasX, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease with potential for use as a new genome editing platform.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study uses deep learning to predict genetic variants that generate cryptic splice sites and to investigate the role of these non-coding cryptic splice mutations in rare genetic disorders.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies in Developmental Cell report the generation of mice with longer and shorter than normal tails, respectively, giving insight into developmental programmes and key genes involved in mouse tail development.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study published in Cell uses bacterial genetic screens to identify mutagenic proteins. Overexpression of homologues of these proteins in human cells has similar mutagenic effects and potential prognostic value in cancer.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    The BabySeq project, a pilot randomized clinical trial exploring the value of routine genomic sequencing of neonates compared with standard newborn screening, now reports initial results in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Cell reports the development of a synthetic, modular and programmable read–write system that serves as a platform for programming epigenetic functions in mammalian cells and can aid the analysis of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms.

    • Michelle Trenkmann
  • Research Highlight |

    Proximity-CLIP, a method that combines proximity-based protein biotinylation and UV crosslinking, profiles the transcriptome and ribonucleoproteins in subcellular compartments.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature Genetics reports the first genome-wide significant loci for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and implicates biologically informative genes, such as FOXP2, as contributors to its aetiology.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Comment |

    This Comment discusses how data from smartphones or wearables could be used for behavioural phenotyping, knowledge that may help to reveal the genetic and environmental contributions to disease-related behavioural variation.

    • Nelson B. Freimer
    •  & David C. Mohr
  • Comment |

    The lack of family health history experienced by most adopted persons can represent a marked disadvantage for these individuals. Genetic testing has the potential to reliably and usefully fill informational gaps, but considerable challenges need to be addressed to assemble an economic case for affordability.

    • Thomas May
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Cell examines the pervasiveness of a classic form of non-genetic inheritance involving transposable element DNA methylation in mice. It reports that non-genetic inheritance is likely to be the exception rather than the rule across other loci genome-wide.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature shows the feasibility of using the CRISPR–Cas9 system for efficient and precise genotypic correction of pathogenic mutations without a donor template.

    • Ross Cloney
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature Medicine reports the DNA methylome and transcriptome of an individual, and suggests that changes in the methylome and transcriptome might be associated with chronic and acute health conditions, respectively.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Science reports the genome-wide chromatin accessibility profiles across 23 cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas and notably increases the number of known gene regulatory elements.

    • Michelle Trenkmann
  • Research Highlight |

    Two new studies in Nature provide insight into the role of nucleosomes in gene regulation. One describes the genome-wide organization of nucleosomes and the other details how transcription factor binding to DNA is affected by the presence of nucleosomes.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Comment |

    In personalized medicine, a major aim is to provide the right treatment to the right patient. In this Comment article, Gibson discusses how a more overt and genomics-informed focus on those individuals who are unlikely to benefit from treatment could reduce prescription rates and provide financial and health-care benefits.

    • Greg Gibson
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies in Nature describe the full data set of the UK Biobank resource, which contains genome-wide genetic data, clinical measurements and health records for ~500,000 individuals, and reveal insights into the brain’s genetic architecture.

    • Orli G. Bahcall
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature Genetics reports the analysis of transcriptomes of the ageing brain and highlights the impact of genetic variation underlying altered mRNA splicing in Alzheimer disease.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study reports the ‘Tabula Muris’, an atlas of single-cell RNA sequencing data from >100,000 cells across 20 mouse tissues.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Comment |

    Genome-wide sequencing (GWS) is the most sensitive test available for detecting pathogenic genetic variants but it generates complex results. It is important, therefore, that individuals undergoing GWS are offered both pre-test and post-test genetic counselling.

    • Alison M. Elliott
    •  & Jan M. Friedman
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies report the application of high-throughput genome editing approaches to engineer many precise genetic variants and determine their functional impact in human and yeast cells.

    • Michelle Trenkmann
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature characterizes the genome of Denisova 11 and reveals her to be a first-generation offspring of Neanderthal and Denisovan parents, thereby providing direct evidence of genetic mixing between genetically distinct groups of archaic hominins.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Nature describes RNA velocity, which is a computational method to derive dynamic gene expression information from static single-cell RNA sequencing data. It provides valuable insights into developmental trajectories of cells.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Science reports the successful application of CRISPR–Cas genome editing to track and reconstruct developmental lineages in the mouse.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlight |

    A Nature Genetics study reports the findings of a genome-wide associationstudy of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals.

    • Michelle Trenkmann
  • Research Highlight |

    A study in Cell challenges the existing notion of the evolution of FOXP2 as a human-specific language gene.

    • Rebecca Furlong