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1.  Correction: Quantifying Condition-Dependent Intracellular Protein Levels Enables High-Precision Fitness Estimates 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):10.1371/annotation/9f5465d9-e9fa-4a80-84ca-9c9a3f6e82c7.
doi:10.1371/annotation/9f5465d9-e9fa-4a80-84ca-9c9a3f6e82c7
PMCID: PMC3794061
2.  Quantifying Condition-Dependent Intracellular Protein Levels Enables High-Precision Fitness Estimates 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75320.
Countless studies monitor the growth rate of microbial populations as a measure of fitness. However, an enormous gap separates growth-rate differences measurable in the laboratory from those that natural selection can distinguish efficiently. Taking advantage of the recent discovery that transcript and protein levels in budding yeast closely track growth rate, we explore the possibility that growth rate can be more sensitively inferred by monitoring the proteomic response to growth, rather than growth itself. We find a set of proteins whose levels, in aggregate, enable prediction of growth rate to a higher precision than direct measurements. However, we find little overlap between these proteins and those that closely track growth rate in other studies. These results suggest that, in yeast, the pathways that set the pace of cell division can differ depending on the growth-altering stimulus. Still, with proper validation, protein measurements can provide high-precision growth estimates that allow extension of phenotypic growth-based assays closer to the limits of evolutionary selection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075320
PMCID: PMC3783400  PMID: 24086506
3.  The Ecoresponsive Genome of Daphnia pulex 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2011;331(6017):555-561.
We describe the draft genome of the microcrustacean Daphnia pulex, which is only 200 Mb and contains at least 30,907 genes. The high gene count is a consequence of an elevated rate of gene duplication resulting in tandem gene clusters. More than 1/3 of Daphnia’s genes have no detectable homologs in any other available proteome, and the most amplified gene families are specific to the Daphnia lineage. The co-expansion of gene families interacting within metabolic pathways suggests that the maintenance of duplicated genes is not random, and the analysis of gene expression under different environmental conditions reveals that numerous paralogs acquire divergent expression patterns soon after duplication. Daphnia-specific genes – including many additional loci within sequenced regions that are otherwise devoid of annotations – are the most responsive genes to ecological challenges.
doi:10.1126/science.1197761
PMCID: PMC3529199  PMID: 21292972
4.  Evaluation of common genetic variants in 82 candidate genes as risk factors for neural tube defects 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:62.
Background
Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common birth defects (~1 in 1000 pregnancies in the US and Europe) that have complex origins, including environmental and genetic factors. A low level of maternal folate is one well-established risk factor, with maternal periconceptional folic acid supplementation reducing the occurrence of NTD pregnancies by 50-70%. Gene variants in the folate metabolic pathway (e.g., MTHFR rs1801133 (677 C > T) and MTHFD1 rs2236225 (R653Q)) have been found to increase NTD risk. We hypothesized that variants in additional folate/B12 pathway genes contribute to NTD risk.
Methods
A tagSNP approach was used to screen common variation in 82 candidate genes selected from the folate/B12 pathway and NTD mouse models. We initially genotyped polymorphisms in 320 Irish triads (NTD cases and their parents), including 301 cases and 341 Irish controls to perform case–control and family based association tests. Significantly associated polymorphisms were genotyped in a secondary set of 250 families that included 229 cases and 658 controls. The combined results for 1441 SNPs were used in a joint analysis to test for case and maternal effects.
Results
Nearly 70 SNPs in 30 genes were found to be associated with NTDs at the p < 0.01 level. The ten strongest association signals (p-value range: 0.0003–0.0023) were found in nine genes (MFTC, CDKN2A, ADA, PEMT, CUBN, GART, DNMT3A, MTHFD1 and T (Brachyury)) and included the known NTD risk factor MTHFD1 R653Q (rs2236225). The single strongest signal was observed in a new candidate, MFTC rs17803441 (OR = 1.61 [1.23-2.08], p = 0.0003 for the minor allele). Though nominally significant, these associations did not remain significant after correction for multiple hypothesis testing.
Conclusions
To our knowledge, with respect to sample size and scope of evaluation of candidate polymorphisms, this is the largest NTD genetic association study reported to date. The scale of the study and the stringency of correction are likely to have contributed to real associations failing to survive correction. We have produced a ranked list of variants with the strongest association signals. Variants in the highest rank of associations are likely to include true associations and should be high priority candidates for further study of NTD risk.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-13-62
PMCID: PMC3458983  PMID: 22856873
Neural tube defects; Spina bifida; Folic acid; One-carbon metabolism; Candidate gene

Results 1-4 (4)