Cis- and Trans-Modifiers of Repeat Expansions: Blending Model Systems with Human Genetics.
Abstract Over 30 hereditary diseases are caused by the expansion of microsatellite repeats. The length of the expandable repeat is the main hereditary determinant of these disorders. They are also affected by numerous genomic variants that are either nearby (cis) or physically separated from (trans) the repetitive locus, which we review here. These genetic variants have largely been elucidated in model systems using gene knockouts, while a few have been directly observed as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in patients. There is a notable disconnect between these two bodies of knowledge: knockouts poorly appr...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - March 19, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: McGinty RJ, Mirkin SM Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Do you incorporate recent literature or themes from your own research into your genetics courses?
Authors: PMID: 29540286 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - March 11, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

How Do You Design Undergraduate Genetics Laboratory Courses?
Authors: PMID: 29525438 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - March 7, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Genetic Villains: Killer Meiotic Drivers.
Zanders SE Abstract Unbiased allele transmission into progeny is a fundamental genetic concept canonized as Mendel's Law of Segregation. Not all alleles, however, abide by the law. Killer meiotic drivers are ultra-selfish DNA sequences that are transmitted into more than half (sometimes all) of the meiotic products generated by a heterozygote. As their name implies, these loci gain a transmission advantage in heterozygotes by destroying otherwise viable meiotic products that do not inherit the driver. We review and classify killer meiotic drive genes across a wide spectrum of eukaryotes. We discuss how analyses o...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - February 27, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Bravo Núñez MA, Nuckolls NL, Zanders SE Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Sphingolipid Turnover Turns Over the Fate of Aneuploid Cells.
te; Z Abstract Aneuploidy, or unbalanced chromosome number, is a hallmark of cancer. Recently established model systems revealed that aneuploidy affects many aspects of cellular physiology, among them sphingolipid metabolism. The new finding that the proliferation of aneuploid cells depends on sphingolipid homeostasis offers an appealing opportunity for cancer treatment. PMID: 29477508 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - February 21, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Storchová Z Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

What aspect(s) of genetics do you think most excites students in your classes?
Authors: PMID: 29433761 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - February 9, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

What Genetic Concept(s) Do You Think Are the Hardest for the Students to Grasp?
Authors: PMID: 29433762 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - February 9, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Switch and Trace: Recombinase Genetics in Zebrafish.
Abstract Transgenic approaches are instrumental for labeling and manipulating cells and cellular machineries in vivo. Transgenes have traditionally been static entities that remained unaltered following genome integration, limiting their versatility. The development of DNA recombinase-based methods to modify, excise, or rearrange transgene cassettes has introduced versatile control of transgene activity and function. In particular, recombinase-controlled transgenes enable regulation of exogenous gene expression, conditional mutagenesis, and genetic lineage tracing. In zebrafish, transgenesis-based recombinase gene...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - February 8, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Carney TJ, Mosimann C Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Through Sex, Nature Is Telling Us Something Important.
Abstract Theoretically, a variety of mechanisms can make amphimixis advantageous due to reshuffling of offspring genotypes. Recently, it has been shown experimentally that some of these mechanisms can indeed work in artificial populations. However, we still do not know which of them, if any, are relevant in nature, and the available indirect estimates seem to suggest that neither negative nor positive selection in natural populations is strong enough to provide evolutionary protection for obligate amphimixis. Thus, progress in understanding the evolution of amphimixis will depend on direct measurements of the stre...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - February 3, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Kondrashov AS Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Deregulation of CRTCs in Aging and Age-Related Disease Risk: (Trends in Genetics, 33, 303-321, 2017).
ir WB PMID: 29398010 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - February 1, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Escoubas CC, Silva-García CG, Mair WB Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Stable Intronic Sequence RNAs Engage in Feedback Loops.
Abstract Stable intronic sequence RNAs (sisRNAs) are conserved in various organisms. Recent observations in Drosophila suggest that sisRNAs often engage in regulatory feedback loops to control the expression of their parental genes. The use of sisRNAs as mediators for local feedback control may be a general phenomenon. PMID: 29397203 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 31, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Pek JW Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

RNA Biology in Retinal Development and Disease.
Abstract For decades, RNA has served in a supporting role between the genetic carrier (DNA) and the functional molecules (proteins). It is finally time for RNA to take center stage in all aspects of biology. The retina provides a unique opportunity to dissect the molecular underpinnings of neuronal diversity and disease. Transcriptome profiles of the retina and its resident cell types have unraveled unique features of the RNA landscape. The discovery of distinct RNA molecules and the recognition that RNA processing is a major cause of retinal neurodegeneration have prompted the design of biomarkers and novel thera...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 30, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Zelinger L, Swaroop A Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

A Toolkit of Engineered Recombinational Balancers in C. elegans.
Abstract Dejima and colleagues report using CRISPR/Cas9 to generate a new collection of greatly improved balancer chromosomes in the standard laboratory nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, using methods previously reported by the same laboratory, expanding the set of C. elegans balancers to cover nearly 90% of coding genes. PMID: 29395380 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 30, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Schwartz HT, Sternberg PW Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Time for Bed: Genetic Mechanisms Mediating the Circadian Regulation of Sleep.
Abstract Sleep is an evolutionarily conserved behavior that is increasingly recognized as important for human health. While its precise function remains controversial, sleep has been suggested to play a key role in a variety of biological phenomena ranging from synaptic plasticity to metabolic clearance. Although it is clear that sleep is regulated by the circadian clock, how this occurs remains enigmatic. Here we examine the genetic mechanisms by which the circadian clock regulates sleep, drawing on recent work in fruit flies, zebrafish, mice, and humans. These studies reveal that central and local clocks utilize...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 24, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Blum ID, Bell B, Wu MN Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

The Definition of Open Reading Frame Revisited.
Abstract The term open reading frame (ORF) is of central importance to gene finding. Surprisingly, at least three definitions are in use. We discuss several molecular biological and bioinformatics aspects, and we recommend using the definition in which an ORF is bounded by stop codons. PMID: 29366605 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 20, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Sieber P, Platzer M, Schuster S Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

PRDM9 and Its Role in Genetic Recombination.
Abstract PRDM9 is a zinc finger protein that binds DNA at specific locations in the genome where it trimethylates histone H3 at lysines 4 and 36 at surrounding nucleosomes. During meiosis in many species, including humans and mice where PRDM9 has been most intensely studied, these actions determine the location of recombination hotspots, where genetic recombination occurs. In addition, PRDM9 facilitates the association of hotspots with the chromosome axis, the site of the programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that give rise to genetic exchange between chromosomes. In the absence of PRDM9 DSBs are not properly...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 20, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Paigen K, Petkov PM Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Caught with One's Zinc Fingers in the Genome Integrity Cookie Jar.
Abstract Zinc finger (ZnF) domains are present in at least 5% of human proteins. First characterized as binding to DNA, ZnFs display extraordinary binding plasticity and can bind to RNA, lipids, proteins, and protein post-translational modifications (PTMs). The diverse binding properties of ZnFs have made their functional characterization challenging. While once confined to large and poorly characterized protein families, proteomic, cellular, and molecular studies have begun to shed light on their involvement as protectors of the genome. We focus here on the emergent roles of ZnF domain-containing proteins in prom...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 19, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Vilas CK, Emery LE, Denchi EL, Miller KM Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Big Strides in Cellular MicroRNA Expression.
Abstract A lack of knowledge of the cellular origin of miRNAs has greatly confounded functional and biomarkers studies. Recently, three studies characterized miRNA expression patterns across>78 human cell types. These combined data expand our knowledge of miRNA expression localization and confirm that many miRNAs show cell type-specific expression patterns. PMID: 29361313 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 17, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Halushka MK, Fromm B, Peterson KJ, McCall MN Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

mRNA Translation Gone Awry: Translation Fidelity and Neurological Disease.
Abstract Errors during mRNA translation can lead to a reduction in the levels of functional proteins and an increase in deleterious molecules. Advances in next-generation sequencing have led to the discovery of rare genetic disorders, many caused by mutations in genes encoding the mRNA translation machinery, as well as to a better understanding of translational dynamics through ribosome profiling. We discuss here multiple neurological disorders that are linked to errors in tRNA aminoacylation and ribosome decoding. We draw on studies from genetic models, including yeast and mice, to enhance our understanding of th...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 15, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Kapur M, Ackerman SL Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Computational Strategies for Exploring Circular RNAs.
Abstract Recent studies have demonstrated that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are ubiquitous and have diverse functions and mechanisms of biogenesis. In these studies, computational profiling of circRNAs has been prevalently used as an indispensable method to provide high-throughput approaches to detect and analyze circRNAs. However, without an overall understanding of the underlying strategies, these computational methods may not be appropriately selected or used for a specific research purpose, and some misconceptions may result in biases in the analyses. In this review we attempt to illustrate the key steps and summa...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 12, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Gao Y, Zhao F Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Detecting and Avoiding Problems When Using the Cre-lox System.
Abstract The Cre-lox recombination approach is commonly used to generate cell-specific gene inactivation (or activation). We have noticed that the breeding and genotyping sections of papers utilizing Cre-lox techniques are frequently incomplete. While seemingly straightforward, there are important considerations that need to be implemented in the breeding and genotyping methods to prevent the introduction of experimental confounds. Germline recombination and transient expression of Cre recombinase during development are some examples of the complications that can occur, and conventional genotyping methods may fail...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 11, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Song AJ, Palmiter RD Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Defining B Cell Chromatin: Lessons from EBF1.
Abstract Hematopoiesis is regulated by signals from the microenvironment, transcription factor networks, and changes of the epigenetic landscape. Transcription factors interact with and shape chromatin to allow for lineage- and cell type-specific changes in gene expression. During B lymphopoiesis, epigenetic regulation is observed in multilineage progenitors in which a specific chromatin context is established, at the onset of the B cell differentiation when early B cell factor 1 (EBF1) induces lineage-specific changes in chromatin, during V(D)J recombination and after antigen-driven activation of B cells and term...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 11, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Boller S, Li R, Grosschedl R Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Supervised Machine Learning for Population Genetics: A New Paradigm.
Abstract As population genomic datasets grow in size, researchers are faced with the daunting task of making sense of a flood of information. To keep pace with this explosion of data, computational methodologies for population genetic inference are rapidly being developed to best utilize genomic sequence data. In this review we discuss a new paradigm that has emerged in computational population genomics: that of supervised machine learning (ML). We review the fundamentals of ML, discuss recent applications of supervised ML to population genetics that outperform competing methods, and describe promising future dire...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 10, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Schrider DR, Kern AD Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Regulatory Potential of the RNA Processing Machinery: Implications for Human Disease.
Abstract Splicing and nuclear export of mRNA are critical steps in the gene expression pathway. While RNA processing factors can perform general, essential functions for intron removal and bulk export of mRNA, emerging evidence highlights that the core RNA splicing and export machineries also display regulatory potential. Here, we discuss recent insights into how this regulatory potential can selectively alter gene expression and regulate important biological processes. We also highlight the participation of RNA processing pathways in the cellular response to DNA damage at multiple levels. These findings have impo...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 9, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Carey KT, Wickramasinghe VO Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Discoveries of Extrachromosomal Circles of DNA in Normal and Tumor Cells.
Abstract While the vast majority of cellular DNA in eukaryotes is contained in long linear strands in chromosomes, we have long recognized some exceptions like mitochondrial DNA, plasmids in yeasts, and double minutes (DMs) in cancer cells where the DNA is present in extrachromosomal circles. In addition, specialized extrachromosomal circles of DNA (eccDNA) have been noted to arise from repetitive genomic sequences like telomeric DNA or rDNA. Recently eccDNA arising from unique (nonrepetitive) DNA have been discovered in normal and malignant cells, raising interesting questions about their biogenesis, function and...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - January 9, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Paulsen T, Kumar P, Koseoglu MM, Dutta A Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

What Are Some of the Major Challenges in Teaching/Designing Genetics Courses Today?
Authors: PMID: 29291902 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 29, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

How Do You Incorporate 21st Century Genetics into Your Undergraduate Course?
Authors: PMID: 29291903 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 29, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Are Lethal Alleles Too Abundant in Humans?
Abstract Across species, many individuals carry one or more recessive lethal alleles, posing an evolutionary conundrum for their persistence. Using a population genomic approach, Amorim et al. studied the abundance of lethal disease-causing mutations in humans and found that, while appearing more common than expected, most may nonetheless persist at frequencies predicted by mutation-selection balance. PMID: 29290402 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 28, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Ballinger MA, Noor MAF Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Zipping and Unzipping: Protein Modifications Regulating Synaptonemal Complex Dynamics.
vo MP Abstract The proteinaceous zipper-like structure known as the synaptonemal complex (SC), which forms between pairs of homologous chromosomes during meiosis from yeast to humans, plays important roles in promoting interhomolog crossover formation, regulating cessation of DNA double-strand break (DSB) formation following crossover designation, and ensuring accurate meiotic chromosome segregation. Recent studies are starting to reveal critical roles for different protein modifications in regulating SC dynamics. Protein SUMOylation, N-terminal acetylation, and phosphorylation have been shown to be essential for ...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 28, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Gao J, Colaiácovo MP Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Releasing Addiction Memories Trapped in Perineuronal Nets.
Abstract Drug addiction can be conceptualized at a basic level as maladaptive learning and memory. Addictive substances elicit changes in brain circuitry involved in reward, cognition, and emotional state, leading to the formation and persistence of strong drug-associated memories that lead to craving and relapse. Recently, perineuronal nets (PNNs), extracellular matrix (ECM) structures surrounding neurons, have emerged as regulators of learning, memory, and addiction behaviors. PNNs do not merely provide structural support to neurons but are dynamically remodeled in an experience-dependent manner by metalloprotei...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 27, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Lasek AW, Chen H, Chen WY Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Everybody In! No Bouncers at Tumor Gates.
Abstract Two recent genomic studies suggest that a large fraction of human tumors evolves in the presence of limited negative selection against somatic mutations. In this context, specific genetic defects enable the establishment of a hypermutant state that may constitute a target for immunotherapeutic interventions. PMID: 29277455 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 22, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Vitale I, Galluzzi L Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Reassessing the Role of Hox Genes during Vertebrate Development and Evolution.
Abstract Since their discovery Hox genes have been at the core of the established models explaining the development and evolution of the vertebrate body plan as well as its paired appendages. Recent work brought new light to their role in the patterning processes along the main body axis. These studies show that Hox genes do not control the basic layout of the vertebrate body plan but carry out region-specific patterning instructions loaded on the derivatives of axial progenitors by Hox-independent processes. Furthermore, the finding that Hox clusters are embedded in functional chromatin domains, which critically ...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 18, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Mallo M Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Multifaceted Fanconi Anemia Signaling.
Abstract In 1927 Guido Fanconi described a hereditary condition presenting panmyelopathy accompanied by short stature and hyperpigmentation, now better known as Fanconi anemia (FA). With this discovery the genetic and molecular basis underlying FA has emerged as a field of great interest. FA signaling is crucial in the DNA damage response (DDR) to mediate the repair of damaged DNA. This has attracted a diverse range of investigators, especially those interested in aging and cancer. However, recent evidence suggests FA signaling also regulates functions outside the DDR, with implications for many other frontiers of...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 15, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Che R, Zhang J, Nepal M, Han B, Fei P Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Nuclear Long Noncoding RNAs: Key Regulators of Gene Expression.
Abstract A significant portion of the human genome encodes genes that transcribe long nonprotein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). A large number of lncRNAs localize in the nucleus, either enriched on the chromatin or localized to specific subnuclear compartments. Nuclear lncRNAs participate in several biological processes, including chromatin organization, and transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene expression, and also act as structural scaffolds of nuclear domains. Here, we highlight recent studies demonstrating the role of lncRNAs in regulating gene expression and nuclear organization in mammalian cells. In additio...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 14, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Sun Q, Hao Q, Prasanth KV Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Beyond Hemoglobin: Screening for Malaria Host Factors.
Abstract Severe malaria is caused by the Apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and results in significant global morbidity and mortality, particularly among young children and pregnant women. P. falciparum exclusively infects human erythrocytes during clinical illness, and several natural erythrocyte polymorphisms are protective against severe malaria. Since erythrocytes are enucleated and lack DNA, genetic approaches to understand erythrocyte determinants of malaria infection have historically been limited. This review highlights recent advances in the use of hematopoietic stem cells to facilitate genetic ...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 14, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Egan ES Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Epigenetic Regulation of Biological Rhythms: An Evolutionary Ancient Molecular Timer.
Abstract Biological rhythms are pervasive in nature, yet our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern timing is far from complete. The rapidly emerging research focus on epigenetic plasticity has revealed a system that is highly dynamic and reversible. In this Opinion, I propose an epigenetic clock model that outlines how molecular modifications, such as DNA methylation, are integral components for timing endogenous biological rhythms. The hypothesis proposed is that an epigenetic clock serves to maintain the period of molecular rhythms via control over the phase of gene transcription and this timing ...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - December 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Stevenson TJ Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Fantastic Beasts and How To Sequence Them: Ecological Genomics for Obscure Model Organisms.
Abstract The application of genomic approaches to 'obscure model organisms' (OMOs), meaning species with no prior genomic resources, enables increasingly sophisticated studies of the genomic basis of evolution, acclimatization, and adaptation in real ecological contexts. I consider here ecological questions that can be addressed using OMOs, and indicate optimal sequencing and data-handling solutions for each case. With this I hope to promote the diversity of OMO-based projects that would capitalize on the peculiarities of the natural history of OMOs and could feasibly be completed within the scope of a single PhD ...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 29, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Matz MV Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Why is genetics education so important?
Authors: PMID: 29195693 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 28, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

When DNA Topology Turns Deadly - RNA Polymerases Dig in Their R-Loops to Stand Their Ground: New Positive and Negative (Super)Twists in the Replication-Transcription Conflict.
Abstract Head-on replication-transcription conflict is especially bitter in bacterial chromosomes, explaining why actively transcribed genes are always co-oriented with replication. The mechanism of this conflict remains unclear, besides the anticipated accumulation of positive supercoils between head-on-conflicting polymerases. Unexpectedly, experiments in bacterial and human cells reveal that head-on replication-transcription conflict induces R-loops, indicating hypernegative supercoiling [(-)sc] in the region - precisely the opposite of that assumed. Further, as a result of these R-loops, both replication and t...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 24, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Kuzminov A Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

How long have you been teaching undergraduate genetics and how have genetics courses changed since you were a student or when you first started teaching?
Abstract This is the second of a series of ten questions that we asked experts in the field of undergraduate genetics education. These questions range from the importance of genetics education to the practice of teaching undergraduates the theory of genetics while keeping them engaged in the subject. In this series we hope to bring out a discussion of the importance of genetics education not just for future scientists but for those not seeking science as a profession. It is our hope that the answers provided by these experts will stimulate thought and discussion on the importance of genetics education today, so pl...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 24, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Hawley S, Morris J, Pokrywka N, Smith M, Steinhauer J, Stevens T Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Mitochondrial Genome Engineering: The Revolution May Not Be CRISPR-Ized.
Abstract In recent years mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has transitioned to greater prominence across diverse areas of biology and medicine. The recognition of mitochondria as a major biochemical hub, contributions of mitochondrial dysfunction to various diseases, and several high-profile attempts to prevent hereditary mtDNA disease through mitochondrial replacement therapy have roused interest in the organellar genome. Subsequently, attempts to manipulate mtDNA have been galvanized, although with few robust advances and much controversy. Re-engineered protein-only nucleases such as mtZFN and mitoTALEN function effecti...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 24, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Gammage PA, Moraes CT, Minczuk M Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Raw Genomic Data: Storage, Access, and Sharing.
Abstract Patients are increasingly being encouraged and supported to access and control their own medical and genomic data. We argue that well-established and transparent raw genomic data retention and returning policies are imperative to enable patients to practice their rights to access and control raw data. PMID: 29132689 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 10, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Shabani M, Vears D, Borry P Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Intergenerational Transmission of Gene Regulatory Information in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Abstract Epigenetic mechanisms can stably maintain gene expression states even after the initiating conditions have changed. Often epigenetic information is transmitted only to daughter cells, but evidence is emerging, in both vertebrate and invertebrate systems, for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (TEI), the transmission of epigenetic gene regulatory information across generations. Each new description of TEI helps uncover the properties, molecular mechanisms and biological roles for TEI. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been particularly instrumental in the effort to understand TEI, as multiple e...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 2, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Minkina O, Hunter CP Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Keeping Neurons Young and Foxy: FoxOs Promote Neuronal Plasticity.
Abstract Any adult who has tried to take up the piano or learn a new language is faced with the sobering realization that acquiring such skills is more challenging as an adult than as a child. Neuronal plasticity, or the malleability of brain circuits, declines with age. Young neurons tend to be more adaptable and can alter the size and strength of their connections more readily than can old neurons. Myriad circuit- and synapse-level mechanisms that shape plasticity have been identified. Yet, molecular mechanisms setting the overall competence of young neurons for distinct forms of plasticity remain largely obscur...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - November 1, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: McLaughlin CN, Broihier HT Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Development and Evolution through the Lens of Global Gene Regulation.
Abstract Evolution and development are two inherently intertwined processes. As the embryo develops it does so in ways that both reflect past constraints and bias the future evolution of the species. While research exploiting this insight typically studies individual genes, transcriptomic analyses have sparked a new wave of discoveries. In this opinion piece, I review the evidence arising from transcriptomics on the topics of the evolution of germ layers, the phylotypic stage, and developmental constraints. The spatiotemporal pattern of gene expression across germ layers provides evidence that the endoderm was the...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - October 20, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Yanai I Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Tag team: Roles of miRNAs and Proteolytic Regulators in Ensuring Robust Gene Expression Dynamics.
Abstract Lack of prominent developmental defects arising from loss of many individual miRNAs is consistent with the observations of collaborative networks between miRNAs and roles for miRNAs in regulating stress responses. However, these characteristics may only partially explain the seemingly nonessential nature of many miRNAs. Non-miRNA gene expression regulatory mechanisms also collaborate with miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC) to support robust gene expression dynamics. Genetic enhancer screens have revealed roles of miRNAs and other gene repressive mechanisms in development or other cellular processes ...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - October 13, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Weaver BP, Han M Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Caenorhabditis elegans Dosage Compensation: Insights into Condensin-Mediated Gene Regulation.
Abstract Recent work demonstrating the role of chromosome organization in transcriptional regulation has sparked substantial interest in the molecular mechanisms that control chromosome structure. Condensin, an evolutionarily conserved multisubunit protein complex, is essential for chromosome condensation during cell division and functions in regulating gene expression during interphase. In Caenorhabditis elegans, a specialized condensin forms the core of the dosage compensation complex (DCC), which specifically binds to and represses transcription from the hermaphrodite X chromosomes. DCC serves as a clear paradi...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - October 13, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Albritton SE, Ercan S Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

Arresting Evolution.
Abstract Evolution in the form of selective breeding has long been harnessed as a useful tool by humans. However, rapid evolution can also be a danger to our health and a stumbling block for biotechnology. Unwanted evolution can underlie the emergence of drug and pesticide resistance, cancer, and weeds. It makes live vaccines and engineered cells inherently unreliable and unpredictable, and therefore potentially unsafe. Yet, there are strategies that have been and can possibly be used to stop or slow many types of evolution. We review and classify existing population genetics-inspired methods for arresting evoluti...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - October 10, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Bull JJ, Barrick JE Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

The Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis: From 0 to 200 in 50 Years.
Abstract Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common autoimmune disease that targets myelin in the central nervous system (CNS). Multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) over the past 10 years have uncovered more than 200 loci that independently contribute to disease pathogenesis. As with many other complex diseases, risk of developing MS is driven by multiple common variants whose biological effects are not immediately clear. Here, we present a historical perspective on the progress made in MS genetics and discuss current work geared towards creating a more complete model that accurately represents the genetic lan...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - October 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Baranzini SE, Oksenberg JR Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research

The Mobile World of Transposable Elements.
PMID: 28987267 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG)
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - October 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Navarro C Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research