McMaster University

Up in the Trees

Researchers sequenced an ancient DNA from an extinct giant ground sloth to find it is a sister group to one group of modern sloths.

The assay correlates shortened telomere lengths in patients of different ages to potential risks for inherited diseases, such as bone marrow failure syndrome and liver cancer.

Investigators came up with a 182-variant risk score for early-onset coronary artery disease, which they tested on SNP data from UK Biobank participants with or without the condition.

While the virus they found appears old, the researchers found it to be closely related to modern ones, indicating that it has infected people for centuries.

In the Beginning

Researchers model two RNA world scenarios to explore how life on Earth might have emerged, Newsweek reports.

A sequenced variola virus isolate from the 1600s points to a relatively recent common ancestor for viruses involved in 20th century smallpox infections.

Mitochondrial genome sequences from a large glyptodont called Doedicurus suggest glyptodonts were giant members of a lineage in the middle of the armadillo tree. 

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb Daily News) – The Yersinia pestis strains that caused the Plague of Justinian and the later Black Death stemmed from separate introductions of the bacteria from rodents into humans, according to a genomic analysis of Y. pestis.

Researchers from Ontario's McMaster University have used a drug target-based approach to create gene expression signatures that can predict response to two classes of breast cancer chemotherapy drugs.

The university will use the funds to create a new chair to focus on bioinformatics, population genomics, and chronic disease genomics research.

Cancer researcher Alan Rabson has died at 92, the New York Times reports.

As the National Guideline Clearinghouse goes dark, the ECRI Institute says it will pick up the slack.

In Genome Research this week: sequencing method examines proteins parasite uses to evade immune system, L1 insertions in cancer, and more.

The Atlantic reports on private Facebook support groups for people who receive unexpected parentage results from direct-to-consumer genetic tests.