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Body Mass Index Contributors Show Age-Related Changes in Impact

In PLOS Genetics, researchers from the University of Bristol, University College London, and other centers in the UK, Norway, and Sweden explore genetic, environmental, and socioeconomic contributors to body mass index (BMI), along with their potential changes in importance as we age. Using data for nearly 2,700 individuals between the ages of two and 69 years old from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, the team analyzed BMI contributors at up to a dozen points in participants' lives, including shifting associations involving several polygenic risk scores linked to BMI in adults or children. Together, the authors say the results "highlight the likely independent influences of polygenic and socioeconomic factors on BMI across life" and add that "chance ('non-shared') environmental influences may be increasingly important for BMI at later ages."

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.