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Strides for Schizophrenia Research

Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, says that genomics has been an "area of unambiguous progress" for schizophrenia research during the last few years. At his blog, Insel highlights how genomics researchers have identified several genes associated with schizophrenia risk, which are "not the usual suspects," he says. Rare variants associated with the disorder may also have a considerable impact on future research, he suggests. "These rare events may explain only a small fraction of cases, but as with hypertension and cancer, even rare mutations that cause disease can yield important clues to the pathophysiology underlying more common forms of disease," Insel says. Though throughout the "past century, schizophrenia has been defined by psychosis," he credits genomics researchers for reinforcing the "importance of reconceptualizing schizophrenia as a neurodevelopmental disorder."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.