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The Human Collective

The microbiome and the virome made it to the editorial pages of the New York Times where the editors write that while "we think of ourselves as individuals" that "we are also a complex ecosystem, a habitat." The editorial was inspired by the recent Nature paper from Washington University's Jeffrey Gordon on fecal virome diversity. Gordon and his colleagues found that the fecal viromes of identical twins varied widely from one another, and from their mothers, in contrast to findings that family members tend to have similar bacterial communities. "The result is a significantly different view of who we are," the Times says. The paper adds: "We are not just the expression of an individual human genome. We are, as Dr. Gordon writes, 'a genetic landscape,' a collective of genomes of hundreds of different species all working together."

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.