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The Stew of Common Diseases

Many common diseases, like autism, arise from a confluence of genetic and environmental factors, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Genomics and Health Impact Blog likens it to cooking a vegetable stew. "Genes are represented by the many different ingredients and the environment by the time length and temperature of the cooking and whether the pot or pan used is constructed of cast iron, earthenware, or steel," writes the CDC's Scott Bowen. "Every skilled chef knows that any change in the preparation of stew, soup or similar entree can result in a completely different taste." He adds that biological processes act in a comparable manner. "Genes respond to a continually varying environment over time to produce various health outcomes," Bowen says.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.