Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Back to the Drawing Board for Fixing the O-Line

Daniel MacArthur at Genetic Future reacts to 23andMe's news about a genome-wide association study seeking to identify variants connected to athletic prowess. The study, which compared 100 NFL players to a set of controls, failed to locate genetic differences that might explain the football players' athletic skill.

MacArthur calls the results "unsurprising," noting that the study was underpowered for finding variants of modest effect. "A genome-wide association study on a highly complex trait with a sample size of 100 has, historically speaking, a vanishingly small chance of yielding any positive results at all," he writes. "If you want to do a GWAS for athletic performance, at least wait until you have a homogeneous sample that's well-powered enough to have a fighting chance of detecting real associations."

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.