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After the Cancer Genome Atlas

The Cancer Genome Atlas is set to finish up next year after sequencing some 10,000 samples from about 20 different cancer types. TCGA has found, ScienceInsider notes, a number of new cancer genes and confirmed others that were previously identified. But with its price tag reaching over $375 million, some critics say it has been too expensive, though many disagree.

At a National Cancer Institute meeting earlier this week, Louis Staudt and Stephen Chanock discussed what could be a next step — by sequencing even more samples, say 10,000 per tumor type, researchers could uncover rare variants contributing to the disease, ScienceInsider adds. Further, it could enable studies examining the interplay of genetics and environmental factors.

However, with the agency facing a 5 percent budget cut, such a grand project might not be realized. ScienceInsider also notes that some skeptics said that the project might reach a level of "diminishing returns." According to ScienceInsider Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Bruce Stillman noted that he is a supporter of TCGA, but that taking it to such a new scale "is not very sensible at the moment."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.