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Race, Ancestry, and Food Allergen Risks

In a paper published online in advance in Pediatrics this week, a team led by investigators at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago shows that food-allergen sensitization varies according to self-identified race or genetic ancestry. By examining 1,104 children from a multi-ethnic birth cohort, the team found that "black children were more likely to be sensitized to food allergens and were sensitized to more foods," and that "African ancestry was associated with peanut sensitization." According to New Scientist, when the researchers tested the children for milk allergies, "they found that children whose mothers identified them as black were more likely to be allergic to milk, regardless of their genetic ancestry." Rajesh Kumar, lead author on the study, says that while "genetic factors appear to be important in peanut allergies ... but milk sensitivity might result from cultural factors," New Scientist says.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.