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20 Years On

It's been 20 years since the Human Genome Project was declared done, and the Economist writes that that announcement was only the beginning. In the years since, because of that work, it says biology and medicine have been changed.

"Genomics is now so embedded in biology that it is hard to recall what things were like before it," the Economist says.

It notes that it cost billions of dollars to sequence the first human genomes, but that it now only costs a few hundred dollars. It adds that biobanks to store sequence data alongside individuals' medical history and other data have since been established to help power academic and other studies, while private companies have popped up to do the sequencing.

The changes, it writes, go beyond medical biology as new approaches for agriculture and selective breeding of livestock and crops have also emerged. Similarly, it has also enabled researchers to take a look back in time to study extinct humans like Neanderthals and Denisovans and tease out their influences on modern humans.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.