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Multi-Ancestry PRS Stratifies Women Based on Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers have developed a multi-ancestry polygenic risk score to stratify women based on their breast cancer risk. Previous polygenic risk scores have largely been developed using data from individuals of European ancestry and generally do not perform as well among women from other ancestral backgrounds. Researchers from Myriad Genetics and elsewhere report in JCO Precision Oncology that they developed a PRS that incorporates genetic ancestry. They first developed separate PRSs for breast cancer risk based for three different reference ancestry populations — African, East Asian, and European — before combining them into an MA-PRS that encompasses 93 breast cancer-associated SNPs and 56 ancestry markers. Women in the top decile of risk, as determined by the MA-PRS, had similar breast cancer risk as women with moderate penetrance risk genes, the researchers note. "Overall, the MA-PRS model described here is an important step forward in the accurate prediction of BC risk in the contemporary US population, irrespective of genetic ancestry and without requiring potentially biased or inaccurate self- or health care provider–reported ancestry," they add.

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.