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They Go Together

There is a "frustrating" overemphasis on the importance of individual genes for traits or diseases, says Gene Expression's Razib Khan. But there is also an underestimation of the importance of genetics as a whole. "How can these be reconciled? Do not genes and genetics go together?" he asks. The solution to this may be a simple one, he adds — "when you speak of 1,000 genes, you speak of no genes. You can't list 1,000 genes in prose, even if you know them. But using standard quantitative and behavior genetics means one can apportion variation in the population of a trait to variation in genes." In fact, new genomics studies are proving that many complex traits have a "non-trivial heritability," Khan says.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.