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Influencing the Brain

Dendrite at Genes to Brains to Mind to Me points out a recent paper in the journal NeuroImage that reports on a twin study of brain structure. They performed imaging of the brains of 202 pairs of male twins, both fraternal and identical, to "[assess] genetic, shared environmental, and individual-specific environmental influences" on structural differences of 96 brain regions, according to the paper abstract. "Some of the highlights from the paper are that genes accounted for about 70% of overall brain volume, while in the cortex, genes accounted for only about 45% of cortical thickness," Dendrite writes. "Much of the environmental effects were found to be non-shared, suggesting, as expected, that individual experience can have strong effects on brain structure."

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.