09/2022 - Human TKTL1 implies greater neurogenesis in frontal neocortex of modern humans than Neanderthals

INTRODUCTION The evolutionary expansion of the neocortex and the concomitant increase in neuron production are considered to be a basis for the increase in cognitive abilities that occurred during human evolution. Endocast analyses reveal that the endocranial volume of modern humans and Neanderthals was similar, suggesting similar brain and neocortex size. But whether similar neocortex […]

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07/2022 - Reduced gene templates for supervised analysis of scale-limited CRISPR-Cas9 fitness screens

Pooled genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screens are furthering our mechanistic understanding of human biology and have allowed us to identify new oncology therapeutic targets. Scale-limited CRISPR-Cas9 screens—typically employing guide RNA libraries targeting subsets of functionally related genes, biological pathways, or portions of the druggable genome—constitute an optimal setting for investigating narrow hypotheses and are easier to execute […]

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07/2022 - Recombination of repeat elements generates somatic complexity in human genomes

Non-allelic recombination between homologous repetitive elements contributes to evolution and human genetic disorders. Here, we combine short- and long-DNA read sequencing of repeat elements with a new bioinformatics pipeline to show that somatic recombination of Alu and L1 elements is widespread in the human genome. Our analysis uncovers tissue-specific non-allelic homologous recombination hallmarks; moreover, we […]

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07/2022 - Computational estimation of quality and clinical relevance of cancer cell lines

Immortal cancer cell lines (CCLs) are the most widely used system for investigating cancer biology and for the preclinical development of oncology therapies. Pharmacogenomic and genome-wide editing screenings have facilitated the discovery of clinically relevant gene–drug interactions and novel therapeutic targets via large panels of extensively characterised CCLs. However, tailoring pharmacological strategies in a precision […]

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06/2022 - Forebrain Organoids to Model the Cell Biology of Basal Radial Glia in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Brain Evolution

The acquisition of higher intellectual abilities that distinguish humans from their closest relatives correlates greatly with the expansion of the cerebral cortex. This expansion is a consequence of an increase in neuronal cell production driven by the higher proliferative capacity of neural progenitor cells, in particular basal radial glia (bRG). Furthermore, when the proliferation of […]

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