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A Bad Day for Hypochondriacs

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has launched Flu Trends, a service that analyzes data on search terms like "fever" and "cough" to map where people are coming down with the flu. "The data is meaningful because the Google arm that created Flu Trends found a strong correlation between the number of Internet searches related to the flu and the number of people reporting flu symptoms," the article says.

Here at GTO, that reminds us of Ohio State's Dan Janies and his very cool flu mutation maps. Janies uses genetic variation to map which flu strains are striking particular geographic regions -- this page shows how it works with avian flu data. Perhaps these maps would make a nice complement to each other.

 

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.