January has been an exciting month at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX). With this surplus of news, we wanted to share three major stories from the past week:
- Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Jackson Laboratory announced research affiliation for genomic studies of pediatric patients. The goal is to identify advanced treatment approaches for children with genetic orthopedic conditions such as clubfoot, scoliosis, and osteogenesis imperfecta. "Harnessing the power of genomics to understand the basis for orthopedic and other pediatric diseases is of the utmost importance," said Charles Lee, Ph.D., FACMG, scientific director and professor, JAX.
- Recombination is a vital process in sexual reproduction in which DNA is exchanged, usually in "hot spots," between parental chromosomes. JAX's Chris Baker identified two proteins that allow recombination at these hot spots, as shared in a Genes & Development paper. These proteins are "pioneer factors," meaning they are needed for successful meiosis and fertility.
- Assessing the effect of the microbiome--all the microbes on and within our bodies--is challenging for many reasons. There are huge numbers of microbial species to identify, and often sub-strains of the same species can colonize a single individual in both beneficial and virulent ways. In a Cell paper published today, JAX's Julia Oh led a team to analyze S. epidermidis sub-strains to underscore the role of strain genetic diversity in skin health.
Zhou, W. et al. (2020) Host-Specific Evolutionary and Transmission Dynamics Shape the Functional Diversification of Staphylococcus epidermidis in Human Skin. Cell. doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.01.006.