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Mixed Bag

Using genetic testing before prescribing blood thinners has shown mixed results, NPR's Shots blog says. The blood thinner Plavix does carry a warning saying that people whose genes show they are a slow metabolizer of the drug may not get a benefit from taking it, but doctors aren't sure if they should test patients and, if they do, they don't know what to do if a patient is a slow metabolizer. It gets murkier, the Shots blog adds, as a study from the makers of Plavix in the New England Journal of Medicine says that the drug works the same in people, despite what their genes say, though two studies in the Lancet support genetic testing. In addition, the Shots blog points out, Plavix is about to go generic and "pressure will build to save money."

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.