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GWAS: The Glory! The Hype! We've Got It All

Mainstream media has picked up on the trend: genome-wide association studies are hot. The AP news team, best known for 10-line breaking news updates, was so excited it burst out with this feature-length article on why GWAS may be even better than sliced bread. "On a single day in February, for example, three separate research groups reported finding several genetic variants tied to the risk of getting prostate cancer," the article says.

For a less breathless view on the subject, check out this post from Daniel MacArthur at his Genetic Future blog. He lists a number of reasons why scientists should be more cautious with these studies. "Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on genome-wide association studies, most of the genetic variance in risk for most common diseases remains undiscovered," he writes. "Some common diseases with a strong heritable component, such as bipolar disease, have remained almost completely resistant to GWAS."

 

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.