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Useless?

In a simulation study in PLoS Biology, Duke University’s David Goldstein and colleagues say that signals seen in genome-wide association studies that appear to come from common variants disease-causing variants may actually be emanating from rare variants. As the New York Times points out, “the association is not exactly spurious — Dr. Goldstein calls it ‘synthetic’ — but it is indirect, so much so as to make many SNPs useless for identifying the genes that cause disease.” At Genomeboy, Misha Angrist writes that there’s two things to do: “read it and weep” and then “buy stock in sequencing companies.”

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.