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In the Past

The field of paleogenomics has allow researchers to glimpse backward in time to see how human populations have changed or moved over time, the New York Times Magazine reports. But it also wonders whether some studies are overlooking archaeologists' point of view.

In recent years, there has been an explosion of genomic studies drawing on ancient DNA that have changed the view of prehistory in Europe and Asia to something that more resembled the board game Risk to the TV show Game of Thrones, with a combination of population replacement and admixture occurring, the Times magazine says. But when researchers led by Harvard Medical School's David Reich turned their studies to Oceania, particularly Vanuatu, others in the field were less convinced about their finding that the first settlers there were of unmixed Asian descent and were later replaced by Papuans, the Times magazine says. It points out that various reviewers had issues with the manuscript, though Nature overrode their concerns and published it.

Instead, some archaeologists worried that paleogenomics was falling into old traps that had previously ensnared their field and that they are "making similarly grand claims on the basis of a small number of samples," according to the Times magazine.

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.

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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.

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