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Shared Language, Different Genes

Preliminary results from the Estonian Gene Project have revealed that Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, and some Russians are genetically much more similar to Estonians than to Finns, with whom Estonians share a similar language. Razib at Gene Expression is not surprised. "Gene flow has a way of equilibrating and eliminated variation across adjacent populations," he says, adding that language and cultural identity can be passed "asymmetrically through parents, and changing languages can be quite abrupt and discrete. In other words, though outsiders can change genes imperceptibility from generation to generation, they may have still little cultural impact."

The EGP is being led by the University of Tartu, and hopes to collect DNA from 100,000 people to create a database of health, genealogical, and genomic data in Estonia.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.