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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

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.