Genetics

Genetics is the branch of science concerned with genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms. It seeks to understand the process of trait inheritance from parents to offspring, including the molecular structure and function of genes, gene behaviour in the context of a cell or organism (e.g. dominance and epigenetics), gene distribution, and variation and change in populations.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    A study in Nature describes the assembly of a human genome with greater continuity than the current reference genome, as well as the assembly of a complete human X chromosome. These assemblies were achieved by combining data generated by different long-read sequencing technologies.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
  • News and Views |

    Cellular plasticity allows tumours to adapt to and overcome therapeutic challenges. A recent study uncovered the gene regulatory networks that govern cell states and phenotype switching in melanoma, opening up possibilities to therapeutically target cell states or phenotypic plasticity to render melanoma cells more vulnerable to treatment.

    • Nicole M. Aiello-Couzo
    •  & Yibin Kang
    Nature Cell Biology 22, 913-914
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Standardized gene naming is crucial for effective communication about genes, and as genomics becomes increasingly important in health care, the need for a consistent language to refer to human genes becomes ever more essential. Here, we present the current HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) guidelines for naming not only protein-coding genes but also RNA genes and pseudogenes, and we outline the changes in approach and ethos that have resulted from the discoveries of the past few decades.

    • Elspeth A. Bruford
    • , Bryony Braschi
    • , Paul Denny
    • , Tamsin E. M. Jones
    • , Ruth L. Seal
    •  & Susan Tweedie
    Nature Genetics 52, 754-758
  • Editorial |

    Gene nomenclature can be complicated, and the official naming of genes requires rational standards to avoid confusion and to maximize clarity. The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee has released updated guidelines for the naming of human genes, and we encourage the community to adopt these recommendations.

    Nature Genetics 52, 751
  • News and Views |

    Genomes are highly organized in space and time. Compartments, topologically associating domains (TADs) and loops are three dimensional (3D) genome features that have been extensively studied. Among these three levels of organization, TADs have sparked the most debate. New microscopy data shed light on how TADs and their leaky borders contribute to gene regulation.

    • Irene Farabella
    •  & Marc A. Marti-Renom
    Nature Genetics 52, 752-753