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Sample Size and the Need for Power

Requiring conventional sample size calculations might be an impediment to completing translational or early clinical studies, write Peter Bacchetti and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, in a Perspectives article in Science Translational Medicine. "There is little theoretical or empirical support for the conventional requirement that every study must have at least 80% power," the authors write. Instead, they prose a few alternatives: the "value of information" approach, a method based on estimating the effect and confidence intervals, and one that evaluates the cost and return of increasing the sample size. "Practical considerations, including the costs of larger versus smaller sample sizes, inevitably drive sample size choices, and the reality of diminishing marginal returns implies that this is scientifically valid," the authors add.

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.