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Complex Human Trait Clues Drawn From Statistical Model

In PLOS Genetics, a team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Stanford University describe a statistical framework dubbed "parental stratification of genetic effect components" (PARSEC) for analyzing complex trait architecture, including heritable contributors and genetic covariance related to shared environments such as family environments. "This framework enables us to partition both heritability and genetic covariance into direct and indirect pathways, and gain knowledge of how genetics and environment jointly contribute to complex traits as well as the correlation between trait pairs," the researchers write. When they applied PARSEC to five complex traits ranging from height, body mass index, or overall health to educational attainment or income in 12,571 UK Biobank families, for example, they saw "substantial involvement of indirect genetic components in shared genetic architecture across traits."

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.