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Highlights and a Skin Check


A new study recently published in the Archives of Dermatology suggests that hair stylists may have a role to play in the fight against skin cancer, reports Maria Godoy at the NPR Shots blog. In a survey of 203 hair salon workers in the Houston area, 58 percent of respondents told researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health that they have told a client to get a mole on the scalp, neck, or face checked out by a doctor, Godoy says. And several dermatologists the researchers spoke with said they've had at least one case of melanoma referred to them by a hairdresser. "Hairdressers and barbers tend to enjoy an easy rapport with clients, see them regularly and often share advice with them. All of which explains why, over the years, public health officials have recruited salon workers' help in various health awareness campaigns — such as encouraging women to seek mammograms and men to get prostate screenings," Godoy says. And now, even without being trained, hairdressers are increasingly performing skin checks. The researchers who conducted the study say they're now working with the Melanoma Foundation of New England to start training programs for hair stylists in Massachusetts on how to recognize the signs of melanoma, Godoy adds.

The Scan

Suicidal Ideation-Linked Loci Identified Using Million Veteran Program Data

Researchers in PLOS Genetics identify risk variants within and across ancestry groups with a genome-wide association study involving veterans with or without a history of suicidal ideation.

Algorithm Teases Out Genetic Ancestry in Individuals at Biobank Scale

Researchers develop an algorithm known as Rye to tease apart ancestry fractions in admixed individuals at a biobank-scale, applying it to 488,221 UK Biobank participants in Nucleic Acids Research.

Multi-Ancestry Analysis Highlights Comparable Common Variants at Complex Trait-Linked Loci

Researchers in Nature Genetics examine common variants implicated in more than three dozen conditions, estimating genetic effect similarities across ancestry tracts in admixed individuals.

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.