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Genetics of Asthma

The Baltimore Sun's Andrea Walker reports on a new undertaking by researchers at Johns Hopkins University to "map the genetic code for asthma in people of African descent in hopes of better understanding why the disease and other allergy-related ailments disproportionately afflict that population." In the largest study of its kind to date, Walker says the Johns Hopkins researchers "will leverage data from other genome projects to take the first wide-scale look at how hereditary factors affect African-Americans who have the disease" with support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Immunogeneticist Kathleen Barnes tells the Sun that one goal of the study is to "develop better medicines for people with asthma because we will be able to target the protein associated with the disease." Barnes adds that in the future, the research might also be used to develop gene therapies to reduce people's susceptibility to asthma.

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.