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The Slow Revolution

Though the cost of whole-genome sequencing is falling dramatically, the University of Alberta's Timothy Caulfield writes in the Globe and Mail that having people's full genome sequences might not have as great an effect on their health as has been indicated. "The relationship between our genome and disease is far more complicated than originally anticipated. Indeed, the more we learn about the human genome, the less we seem to know," he writes.

Caulfield points out that many findings from people's genomes, with the exception of rare, single-gene diseases, aren't predictive, especially for common diseases. Oftentimes, he adds, nothing can be done with the information that is gleaned as pharmacogenetic efforts are moving at a slower pace.

"For more than two decades, we've been told that we're in the midst of a genetic revolution. I'm still waiting," he says. "Meantime, if we really want to revolutionize our health, we should all put down the gene sequencers, fries and pop, pick up an apple and go for a brisk walk."

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.