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Perspectives on Glycosylation and Its Congenital Disorders
Publication date: Available online 29 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Bobby G. Ng, Hudson H. Freeze Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are a rapidly expanding group of metabolic disorders that result from abnormal protein or lipid glycosylation. They are often difficult to clinically diagnose because they broadly affect many organs and functions and lack clinical uniformity. However, recent technological advances in next-generation sequencing have revealed a treasure trove of new genetic disorders, expanded the knowledge of known disorders, and showed a critical role in infectious diseases. More c...
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 30, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

SMC Complexes: Universal DNA Looping Machines with Distinct Regulators
Publication date: Available online 29 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Marjon S. van Ruiten, Benjamin D. Rowland What drives the formation of chromatin loops has been a long-standing question in chromosome biology. Recent work provides major insight into the basic principles behind loop formation. Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complexes, that are conserved from bacteria to humans, are key to this process. The SMC family includes condensin and cohesin, which structure chromosomes to enable mitosis and long-range gene regulation. We discuss novel insights into the mechanism of loop formation and...
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 30, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

ALS Genes in the Genomic Era and their Implications for FTD
Publication date: Available online 28 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Hung Phuoc Nguyen, Christine Van Broeckhoven, Julie van der Zee Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a complex neurodegenerative disease, characterized genetically by a disproportionately large contribution of rare genetic variation. Driven by advances in massive parallel sequencing and applied on large patient–control cohorts, systematic identification of these rare variants that make up the genetic architecture of ALS became feasible. In this review paper, we present a comprehensive overview of recently proposed ALS genes that ...
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 29, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Understanding Alzheimer Disease at the Interface between Genetics and Transcriptomics
Publication date: Available online 21 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Jan Verheijen, Kristel Sleegers Over 25 genes are known to affect the risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common neurodegenerative dementia. However, mechanistic insights and improved disease management remains limited, due to difficulties in determining the functional consequences of genetic associations. Transcriptomics is increasingly being used to corroborate or enhance interpretation of genetic discoveries. These approaches, which include second and third generation sequencing, single-cell sequencing, and bioinformat...
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 22, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

What Do You Think Makes a Good Undergraduate Laboratory Research Project?
Publication date: Available online 21 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 22, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Cis- and Trans-Modifiers of Repeat Expansions: Blending Model Systems with Human Genetics
Publication date: Available online 19 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Ryan J. McGinty, Sergei M. Mirkin 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) ...
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 19, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Do you incorporate recent literature or themes from your own research into your genetics courses?
Publication date: Available online 11 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 11, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Switch and Trace: Recombinase Genetics in Zebrafish
Publication date: Available online 8 February 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Tom J. Carney, Christian Mosimann 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...
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 10, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

How Do You Design Undergraduate Genetics Laboratory Courses?
Publication date: Available online 7 March 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - March 8, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Genetic Villains: Killer Meiotic Drivers
Publication date: Available online 27 February 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): María Angélica Bravo Núñez, Nicole L. Nuckolls, Sarah E. Zanders 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 mei...
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 28, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Sphingolipid Turnover Turns Over the Fate of Aneuploid Cells
Publication date: Available online 21 February 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Zuzana Storchová 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 22, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

What aspect(s) of genetics do you think most excites students in your classes?
Publication date: Available online 9 February 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 10, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

What Genetic Concept(s) Do You Think Are the Hardest for the Students to Grasp?
Publication date: Available online 9 February 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 10, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Through Sex, Nature Is Telling Us Something Important
Publication date: Available online 4 February 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Alexey S. Kondrashov 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...
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 5, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Stable Intronic Sequence RNAs Engage in Feedback Loops
Publication date: Available online 31 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Jun Wei Pek 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 1, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

RNA Biology in Retinal Development and Disease
Publication date: Available online 31 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Lina Zelinger, Anand Swaroop 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 ...
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 1, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

A Toolkit of Engineered Recombinational Balancers in C. elegans
Publication date: Available online 31 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Hillel T. Schwartz, Paul W. Sternberg 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - February 1, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

The Definition of Open Reading Frame Revisited
Publication date: Available online 30 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Patricia Sieber, Matthias Platzer, Stefan Schuster 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 31, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Insights into Modern Human Prehistory Using Ancient Genomes
Publication date: Available online 25 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Melinda A. Yang, Qiaomei Fu The genetic relationship of past modern humans to today’s populations and each other was largely unknown until recently, when advances in ancient DNA sequencing allowed for unprecedented analysis of the genomes of these early people. These ancient genomes reveal new insights into human prehistory not always observed studying present-day populations, including greater details on the genetic diversity, population structure, and gene flow that characterized past human populations, particularly in early Eu...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 26, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Time for Bed: Genetic Mechanisms Mediating the Circadian Regulation of Sleep
Publication date: Available online 24 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Ian D. Blum, Benjamin Bell, Mark N. Wu 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 recen...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 25, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

PRDM9 and Its Role in Genetic Recombination
Publication date: Available online 21 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Kenneth Paigen, Petko M. Petkov 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...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 22, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Caught with One's Zinc Fingers in the Genome Integrity Cookie Jar
Publication date: Available online 19 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Caroline K. Vilas, Lara E. Emery, Eros Lazzerini Denchi, Kyle M. Miller 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 begu...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 20, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Big Strides in Cellular MicroRNA Expression
Publication date: Available online 18 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Marc K. Halushka, Bastian Fromm, Kevin J. Peterson, Matthew N. McCall 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 19, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

mRNA Translation Gone Awry: Translation Fidelity and Neurological Disease
Publication date: Available online 16 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Mridu Kapur, Susan L. Ackerman 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...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 17, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Supervised Machine Learning for Population Genetics: A New Paradigm
Publication date: Available online 10 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Daniel R. Schrider, Andrew D. Kern 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 ...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 13, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Detecting and Avoiding Problems When Using the Cre –lox System
Publication date: Available online 11 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Allisa J. Song, Richard D. Palmiter 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...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 13, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Defining B Cell Chromatin: Lessons from EBF1
Publication date: Available online 11 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Sören Boller, Rui Li, Rudolf Grosschedl 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 linea...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 13, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Computational Strategies for Exploring Circular RNAs
Publication date: Available online 12 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Yuan Gao, Fangqing Zhao 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 re...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 13, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Discoveries of Extrachromosomal Circles of DNA in Normal and Tumor Cells
Publication date: Available online 9 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Teressa Paulsen, Pankaj Kumar, M. Murat Koseoglu, Anindya Dutta 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 (non...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 10, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Regulatory Potential of the RNA Processing Machinery: Implications for Human Disease
Publication date: Available online 9 January 2018 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Kirstyn T. Carey, Vihandha O. Wickramasinghe 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 participa...
Source: Trends in Genetics - January 10, 2018 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

How Do You Incorporate 21st Century Genetics into Your Undergraduate Course?
Publication date: Available online 29 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 31, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

What Are Some of the Major Challenges in Teaching/Designing Genetics Courses Today?
Publication date: Available online 29 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 31, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Are Lethal Alleles Too Abundant in Humans?
Publication date: Available online 28 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Mallory A. Ballinger, Mohamed A.F. Noor 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 29, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Zipping and Unzipping: Protein Modifications Regulating Synaptonemal Complex Dynamics
Publication date: Available online 28 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Jinmin Gao, Monica P. Colaiácovo 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 dynam...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 29, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Releasing Addiction Memories Trapped in Perineuronal Nets
Publication date: Available online 27 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Amy W. Lasek, Hu Chen, Wei-Yang Chen 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 s...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 28, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Everybody In! No Bouncers at Tumor Gates
Publication date: Available online 23 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Ilio Vitale, Lorenzo Galluzzi 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 24, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Reassessing the Role of Hox Genes during Vertebrate Development and Evolution
Publication date: Available online 18 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Moisés Mallo 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, t...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 19, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Multifaceted Fanconi Anemia Signaling
Publication date: Available online 16 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Raymond Che, Jun Zhang, Manoj Nepal, Bing Han, Peiwen Fei 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. Howe...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 16, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Beyond Hemoglobin: Screening for Malaria Host Factors
Publication date: Available online 14 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Elizabeth S. Egan 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 revie...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 15, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Nuclear Long Noncoding RNAs: Key Regulators of Gene Expression
Publication date: Available online 14 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Qinyu Sun, Qinyu Hao, Kannanganattu V. Prasanth 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...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 15, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Epigenetic Regulation of Biological Rhythms: An Evolutionary Ancient Molecular Timer
Publication date: Available online 5 December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Tyler J. Stevenson 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 per...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 6, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Mitochondrial Genome Engineering: The Revolution May Not Be CRISPR-Ized
Publication date: Available online 24 November 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Payam A. Gammage, Carlos T. Moraes, Michal Minczuk 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 ...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells 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
Publication date: Available online 25 November 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Andrei Kuzminov 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 regi...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells 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?
Publication date: Available online 25 November 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Scott Hawley, Jason Morris, Nancy Pokrywka, Michelle Smith, Josefa Steinhauer, Traci Stevens 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 ...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Why is genetics education so important?
Publication date: Available online 28 November 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Fantastic Beasts and How To Sequence Them: Ecological Genomics for Obscure Model Organisms
Publication date: Available online 29 November 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Mikhail V. Matz 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 peculiarit...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

The Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis: From 0 to 200 in 50 Years
Publication date: December 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics, Volume 33, Issue 12 Author(s): Sergio E. Baranzini, Jorge R. Oksenberg 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 ...
Source: Trends in Genetics - December 5, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Raw Genomic Data: Storage, Access, and Sharing
Publication date: Available online 10 November 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Mahsa Shabani, Danya Vears, Pascal Borry 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. (Source: Trends in Genetics)
Source: Trends in Genetics - November 11, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Choosing the Active X: The Human Version of X Inactivation
Publication date: Available online 5 October 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Barbara R. Migeon Humans and rodents differ in how they carry out X inactivation (XI), the mammalian method to compensate for the different number of X chromosomes in males and females. Evolutionary changes in staging embryogenesis and in mutations within the XI center alter the process among mammals. The mouse model of XI is predicated on X counting and subsequently choosing the X to ‘inactivate’. However, new evidence suggests that humans initiate XI by protecting one X in both sexes from inactivation by XIST, the noncodin...
Source: Trends in Genetics - November 8, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

Development and Evolution through the Lens of Global Gene Regulation
Publication date: Available online 20 October 2017 Source:Trends in Genetics Author(s): Itai Yanai 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...
Source: Trends in Genetics - November 8, 2017 Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research