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Meta-Analysis Points to Neurodevelopmental Disorder Heritability, Genetic Overlap

In Nature Human Behaviour, researchers from the UK and the US present findings from a meta-analysis looking at genetic and environmental contributors to neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) such as autism spectrum disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, along with potential overlap between them. Using data from nearly 300 studies encompassing millions of individuals, the team explored everything from the heritability of NDDs to the genetic correlations between them and potential overlap with conditions such as antisocial personality disorder, pyromania, or kleptomania that are together known as "disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders," or DICCs. Among other results, for example, the study "provides meta-analytic evidence for the substantial heritability of all NDDs," the authors report, noting that their analyses indicate that "NDDs are just as strongly genetically correlated with other NDDs as most of them are with DICCs."

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.