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What Makes Us Human?

He's not just M*A*S*H's Hawkeye Pierce. Alan Alda has hosted PBS's Scientific American Frontiers and starting tonight, Alda will be hosting a three-part series on PBS called The Human Spark. In it, Alda will explore "the nature of human uniqueness," according to the show's website, as he looks at cave wall paintings, visits primate researchers, and undergoes an MRI. "We're trying to figure out by asking a wide range of scientists — and there are different opinions on this — what makes us different from the other animals? And what made us that way?" Alda says in the Los Angeles Times.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.