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Simulation Study Links Archaic Ancestry on X Chromosome to Sex Biased Introgression

Brown University researchers reporting in PLOS Genetics consider potential sex-biased contributions to the archaic introgression patterns present on the X chromosome. By digging into archaic ancestry profiles on autosomal chromosomes and the X chromosomes of modern-day humans, the team saw far more archaic ancestry on the autosomes relative to the X chromosome, particularly in samples from European individuals. That ratio was somewhat lower in other populations, including individuals from South Asia, prompting the authors to take a closer look at sex-biased archaic introgression and its effects. "Using simulation studies, we find that when the archaics were mostly male, modern humans end up with less archaic DNA on chromosome X than their autosomes, compared to when there is a female-bias or no sex-bias," they report, adding that "male sex-bias could be contributing to the difference in the amount of archaic DNA on chromosome X versus the autosomes," though there are "plenty of other factors to be explored about how demography and selection have shaped our DNA."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

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Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.