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In Defense of Risk

Like most investors, federal funding agencies tend to view risk negatively when it comes to research — they want to see proof before digging into their pockets. But, Proflike Substance asks, "when was the last time you walked out of a really good talk and thought 'That was some super cool data that came from a totally ordinary idea?'" Though they can be time-consuming and prone to failure, he adds, risky projects can offer up the biggest rewards.

Proflike says his own lab has reaped the rewards of taking research risks. One project, he says, "is evolving from something that was risky into something that will be a slam dunk for funding once we wade through the remaining data." Though it has taken nearly four years, "with many adjustments along the way, we're seeing the project come together the way we hoped it would," he adds.

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.