NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Mutations in an obesity-associated gene called FTO can contribute to melanoma risk through a pathway that appears independent of body mass index, according to a Nature Genetics article by members of an international melanoma consortium known as GenoMEL. With the help of imputed genotype information, the group conducted a multi-phase association study starting with nearly 1,400 European or Israeli individuals with melanoma and more than 3,500 unaffected controls from Europe.

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.