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Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh

The New York Times' Nicholas Wade examines genetic imprinting, in what he calls a "tug of war" between the mother's and father's contributions to a fetus. Until recently, Wade notes, about 100 imprinted genes were known. According to research published in Science in July by Harvard's Christopher Gregg and colleagues, there are nearly 1,300 genes imprinted in mice. According to study co-author Catherine Dulac, it's likely that a "substantial, though lesser, proportion to be imprinted in people — maybe some one percent of the genome." In the mouse brain, Gregg and Dulac et al. found that 347 genes "where either the mother's or the fathers copy was more actively expressed in certain regions," Wade reports, which the investigators attribute to evolutionary fitness and familial interests.

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.