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People in the News: Aug 5, 2011 (rev. 1)

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Ralph Roskies, the scientific co-director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, has been appointed to the board of regents of the National Library of Medicine.

Roskies is a co-founder and has served as co-director of PSC since it was established in 1986. He was the principal investigator of the National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing and has developed software tools that are used with the NLM’s Visible Human project.

He obtained a PhD from Princeton University in 1965.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

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.