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While genetic studies may be able to fuel precision medicine, the fruits of these efforts may not be equitable, Vox reports.

It notes that the majority of genetic research has been done on individuals of white European backgrounds and that those findings may not be generalizable to individuals of other backgrounds. For instance, Vox notes that variants that contribute to risk of asthma among white children aren't the same as those that confer risk among African-American children, who are highly affected by the condition. If there were to be a test to predict and prevent asthma among children, it might then only benefit white children, it says, noting that such a test is hypothetical. This exclusion of people of color from medical genetic studies could further exacerbate healthcare disparities in the US, according to Vox.

It notes, though, that there are some efforts to boost the participation of underrepresented groups in genetic research, such as the US National Institutes of Health's All of Us research program. That effort aims to enroll one million Americans, including 500,000 individuals from racial and ethnic minorities

"You really can't have precision medicine for all of us if all of us don't participate and aren't reflected in the research and the studies," Dara Richardson-Heron, chief engagement officer for the All of Us program, tells Vox.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.