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Do People Still Get Gout?

In Nature Genetics, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that two distinct diseases, Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) and Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS), actually have the same genetic causes. Using sequencing and zebrafish knockouts, they found that the two diseases are a "continuum of one disease," says lead author, Nicholas Katsanis. "This never would have been discovered in the clinic -- only molecular analysis can reveal these things."

In another Nature Genetics article, researchers at Edinburgh's MRC Human Genetics Unit have found what they think may be a susceptibility gene for gout. The variation they found in the SLC2A gene appears to make it harder for the body to remove uric acid from the blood, reports this BBC article.

 

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.