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Meta-Analysis Measures Genetic Testing, Genetic Counseling Use in Heart Disease Patients

Genetic counseling appears to improve satisfaction with genetic testing in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients and their family members, according to a study looking at uptake of recommended genetic testing and related patient-reported outcomes. As they report in the Journal of Genetic Counseling, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and other centers in the US and Canada performed a meta-analysis that included thousands of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients and/or potentially at-risk family members from four dozen prior studies. "Approximately half to three-quarters of patients with [hypertrophic cardiomyopathy] and their relatives undergo genetic testing or cascade screening," the authors write, noting that genetic counseling was linked to improved patient-reported outcomes after testing, while positive- or negative genetic test results did not seem to significantly sway satisfaction or patient-reported outcomes.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.