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Calm Acceptance

Finding out that you are predisposed to Alzheimer's disease doesn't appear to impart any short-term psychological risks, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers randomly assigned 162 adults with a parent with Alzheimer's disease to receive the results of their own APOE test or not and measured the participants for anxiety, depression, and test-related distress six weeks, six months, and one year afterward. There were no significant differences between the groups, other than the APOE4 negative group reporting less test-related distress. "Some people might say, 'I'm thinking about this a lot,' but it didn't translate into long-term depression or anxiety," author Scott Roberts says, according to Scientific Blogging.

At Technology Review, lead author Robert Green adds, "Even though patients clearly understood there was nothing they could do to stave off the disease, they had nonmedical reasons to learn about it: to prepare their children, to think about the longevity of careers."

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.