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SNPs Foster Friendships?

Researchers at Harvard and UC San Diego published a paper online in advance in PNAS this week showing that "maps of friendship networks show clustering of genotypes." Using six available genotypes from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the team mapped genetic similarities among more than 3,000 friend pairs and found that, when controlled for population stratification, "one genotype is positively correlated (homophily) and one genotype is negatively correlated (heterophily)." Nature News reports on this "opposites attract" phenomenon, adding that the researchers found that friends "tended to have the same SNP at one position in a gene encoding the dopamine D2 receptor, DRD2," and in addition, "showed more variation at one position in a cytochrome gene, CYP2A6, than non-friends." In its paper, the researchers say that their study not only open doors for future genetics research on social behavior, but also "that theories of evolution should take into account the fact that humans might, in some sense, be metagenomic with respect to the humans around them." Lead author James Fowler told The Scientist that "there's something about Mary that draws you to her … researchers haven't figured out what that something is."

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.