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What to Do With the GWAS

In three commentaries in the New England Journal of Medicine, Children's Hospital's Joel Hirschhorn, Duke's David Goldstein, and Harvard's Peter Kraft and David Hunter discuss the complexity basis of common genetic diseases. The New York Times' Nicholas Wade characterizes the disagreements among the researchers as "whether, despite the prospect of diminishing returns, to continue with the genomewide studies, which cost many millions of dollars apiece, or switch to a new approach." Hirschhorn is optimistic. "I predict that by the 2012 ASHG meeting, genomewide association studies will have yielded important new biologic insights for at least four common diseases or polygenic traits," he writes. Goldstein is less so, suggesting that the "modest effect of common variation on most human disease" should lead researchers to instead focus on uncovering rare variants. Kraft and Hunter take the middle way and write that the risk estimates need to be refined as it's "too early in the cycle of discovery for most tests that are based on newly discovered associations to provide stable estimates of genetic risk for many diseases."

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.