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This Week in the Medical Journals: Jul 6, 2012


In a JAMA news brief, science writer Tracy Hampton examines how gylcine comsumption and expression of the mitochondrial glycine biosynthetic pathway relate to cancer cell proliferation rates, referencing a recent Science paper from the Broad Institute's Mohit Jain et al. "Higher expression of this pathway was linked with mortality in patients with breast cancer," Hampton reports.

"Poor record keeping at a London NHS hospital trust meant that more than 1,000 patients referred for suspected cancer were not properly recorded as having been seen or, where appropriate, treated," Nigel Hawkes reports over in BMJ this week. He adds that a review group has been set up to investigate 74 cases.

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.