Weekly reads: PRC2, 2 weird bits of news, pubs, COVID stem cell hype

I’d say the paper of the week is on how PRC2 mediated H3K27me3 can in some sense replace elements of DNA methylation to repress. Very cool.

Here it is: Sex-specific chromatin remodelling safeguards transcription in germ cells, Nature.

PRC2 lineage commitment
PRC2 and lineage commitment. “Bulk RNA-seq expression of upregulated key lineage markers in different mutant lines over their respective wild types. Bars show average values of all time points, plotted separately by shape.” Fig. 2a, Loh, et al.  Nat Comm., 2021.

Weird stuff

In a merger of opposites, City of Hope to buy Cancer Treatment Centers of America for $390 million, STAT News. This doesn’t exactly seem like a great match. Will it be good for cancer patients? As a cancer survivor myself I wonder about corporate approaches to oncology.

CZI Imposes a Vanity Sequence ID, The Geyser. Also, see the tweet from my colleague Jonathan Eisen above on this weird renaming of a genomic method. This move by Chan Zuckerberg gets a yuck rating from me. What’s next? Renaming ChIP-Seq to something like Lays-Seq after the potato chip brand?

More recommended reads including another PRC2 paper

It’s time to incorporate diversity into our basic science and disease models, Nature Cell Bio. From Rick Horowitz of the Allen Institute for Cell Science.

This Robot Looks Like a Pancake and Jumps Like a Maggot, NYT. Kind of brought xenobots to mind again, which I recently covered.

Autism and the Microbiome: The Wrong Way Around? In The Pipeline by Derek Lowe. This is a very interesting take on the hot area of autism and the gut microbiome. Derek raises the idea that the data may be pointing to autism-related behaviors influencing the microbiome, not vice versa as most people seem to assume.

And some hype on COVID and stem cells

Rescue effort from overseas brings stem cells to COVID patient in Israel, Jerusalem Post. An unfortunate example of biomedical hype. It’s hard to pick the worst sentence from this awful article, but this is a candidate, “Schwartz, 46, received from Landa advice to undergo mesenchymal stem cell treatments, which had healed hundreds of patients before.” What hundreds of patients?

3 thoughts on “Weekly reads: PRC2, 2 weird bits of news, pubs, COVID stem cell hype”

  1. On the last item: The sentence you quote seems to have disappeared, though the article does include: “Eli Beer, the founder of United Hatzalah, received mesenchymal stem cells during the early days of the pandemic and persuaded Longeveron to provide free treatment for Schwartz.” Knoepfler reaches around the world to correct misinformation?

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