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Biological Bias

Oliver James opines that "genes are left wing" and, further, that "politics may be the reason why the media has so far failed to report the small role of genes." James, writing in the UK's Guardian, says that "the Human Genome Project is rapidly providing a scientific basis for the political left." According to James, the political right is more apt to believe that "that genes largely explain why the poor are poor, as well as twice as likely as the rich to be mentally ill." Rather than looking toward genetics to explain the prevalence of mental illness, post-HGP leftists maintain that "genes play little part in why one sibling, social class, or ethnic group is more likely to suffer mental health problems than another" and that "childhood maltreatment, economic inequality, and excessive materialism seem the main determinants," he writes.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.