Published in last week's Genome Biology ... ... ...
Jo Vandesompele is senior author on a paper also appearing this week on a new method to normalize miRNA RT-qPCR data. In this study, his team used a mean expression value of all expressed microRNAs in a sample as a normalization factor for miRNA real-time quantitative PCR data and compared it to what's currently used, showing that the mean expression value "outperforms the current normalization strategy in terms of better reduction of technical variation and more accurate appreciation of biological changes," they say in the abstract.
Finally, researchers at the University of Toronto have performed a comparative analysis of metabolism across 193 eukaryotes. Using whole and partial genome and proteome datasets, they found that metabolic enzymes are, in general, "highly conserved," but that certain pathways are more highly conserved than others and that there is a "highly conserved, but nonetheless flexible, 'core' of enzymes largely involved in multiple reactions across different pathways."
- Pieter Mestdagh, Pieter Van Vlierberghe, An De Weer, Daniel Muth, Frank Westermann, Frank Speleman and Jo Vandesompele. A novel and universal method for microRNA RT-qPCR data normalization. Genome Biology, (in press) [link]