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The Investor-Scientist

John Hussman is not a scientist — he's a fund manager. The former economics professor runs the $6 billion Hussman Strategic Growth Fund, where he has a reputation for thoroughly researching potential investments and analyzing the markets, says Fortune's Scott Cendrowski. Now, Hussman is applying his research skills to understanding autism. Ever since his son was diagnosed with the disorder as a child, Hussman has focused his attention on finding its genetic causes. Having founded a genomics center at the University of Miami, he and became a self-taught researcher and spent many years collaborating with the investigators there, Cendrowski says. Now, Hussman and his collaborators have published a paper in Molecular Autism, which some researchers are calling a "breakthrough," Cendrowski adds. From the genetic patterns he observed across hundreds of cases, Hussman developed a mathematical algorithm to detect unusual clusters of genetic mutations that might be linked to autism. His algorithm also highlights the ways in which mutations interact with one another to influence the development of autism, Cendrowski says. While Hussman's work must be replicated and validated, Cendrowski says the end-goal is to apply the discovery to developing therapeutics for children afflicted by the disorder.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.