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Perhaps Being Mysterious Is Part of Their Charm

Over at the Sandwalk, Larry Moran blogs about the thousands of unknown genes in sequenced genomes -- "'unknown' in the sense that no function has been assigned to their protein products." The catalyst for the post is a PLoS One paper on Neurospora crassa, which has some "9,000 protein-encoding genes and more than half of them have not been annotated," Moran writes. "The question is: are the unknown genes confined to Neurospora and its close relatives? If so, it would suggest that new genes have evolved within the past several million years and that's why we don't know their function," he writes.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.