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'Denizens' of the Deep

Earlier this year, researchers published a paper in Molecular Ecology saying that the biodiversity of an area could be determined by closely studying the DNA derived from skin cells, scales, or waste found in soil samples. Now, says Scientific American's Sophie Bushwick, another team of researchers has published a paper in Molecular Ecology with a similar bent. The study found that the biodiversity of a freshwater habitat can be determined by closely studying the DNA in a sample of water from that habitat. "As animals swim through a lake, they leave behind traces of DNA. The more individuals of a particular species, the more DNA of that species will be shed. And be available to be measured," Bushwick says. When the researchers tested their method in about 100 European lakes and streams, she adds, they were able to correctly identify the "denizens" of these habitats as well as the sizes of their populations.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.