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Depression Linked to Gut Microbe, Blood Metabolite Features

In JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from the University of Oxford and elsewhere present findings from a gut microbiome- and blood metabolomics-based analysis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Based on blood metabolomic profiles for hundreds of thousands of individuals with or without MDD from the UK Biobank project, PREDICT, and BBMRI-NL efforts, the team flagged MDD-associated signatures spanning some 124 new or know metabolites. Along with analyses aimed at finding ties between the observed metabolic patterns and human gut microbiome features, the authors incorporated genome-wide association study summary statistics for nearly 59,900 more MDD cases and more than 113,100 unaffected controls for Mendelian randomization analyses to link certain lipoproteins and fatty acids to MDD disease development. "The study findings showed that energy metabolism was disturbed in individuals with MDD," the authors report, "and that the interplay of the gut microbiome and blood metabolome may play a role in lipid metabolism in individuals with MDD."

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.