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Climate Change and the Loss of Potential

According to a new study by conservation biologists, climate change is dangerous not only to the existence of certain species, but also to genetic diversity, says Nature News' Virginia Gewin. According to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, DNA analyses of certain species have found "a vast amount of cryptic diversity" that may be affected as temperatures rise across the globe, Gewin says. The researchers studied aquatic insects — chosen because they are likely to be vulnerable to rising temperatures — and measured their genetic diversity by sequencing their mitochondrial genes. Each species was then divided into a number of "evolutionary significant units" to measure how many genetically distinct populations existed within each species, Gewin says. Using two models of climate change developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the team found that 79 percent of these evolutionary significant units are projected to become extinct by 2080, if climate change continues unabated. "This lost evolutionary potential could hinder species' ability to adapt to change," Gewin says.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.