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You Can Blame Great-Great-Great-Grandpa for Your Bad Genes

At Blaine Bettinger's Genetic Genealogist blog, he points out a recent study that traced a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli gene to Mr. and Mrs. George Fry, an English couple who came to the New World early in the 17th century. The mutation, which increases a carrier's chances of developing colon cancer, was traced through the Fry family tree and also through genotyping. Studies tracing SNPs to single ancestors will become more common as sequencing becomes less costly, Bettinger believes. "When people begin to combine genetic sequencing with family trees, these studies will be limited only by the availability of family trees and computing power (I imagine that some of it will be quite complex)," he writes.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.