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There's That Link Again


A World Health Organization working group says that the radiation emitted by mobile phones may cause brain tumors, reports Scientific American. The panel, made up of 31 experts from 14 countries reviewed the scientific literature to find that there was some, though limited, evidence linking mobile phone use to gliomas and noncancerous acoustic neuromas, and, as NPR's Shots blog notes, this conclusion is a bit of a surprise: a WHO study from last year said there was little evidence of a link between cell phones and brain cancer. (NPR also has a background sheet on cell phones and cancer risk here.) "The evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion," said Jonathan Samet, who chaired the panel, in a statement. "There could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."

The full report is to appear in Lancet Oncology in July.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.