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Epigenetics, Right Next to Butter Almond Crunch

"[Epigenetics is] the flavor of the month," says McGill University's Michael Meaney in the Washington Post. The article looks at the work of Duke's Randy Jirtle, who is studying the mouse epigenome as it related to obesity, and of Simon Gregory, who is looking at the link between DNA methylation and autism. Though much of their work is in its early days, there is hope that is could lead to a new sort of therapy — but Jirlte says it's "a pretty broad brush."

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.