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Stone Age Population Patterns in Central, Eastern Europe Spelled Out in Ancient DNA Study

Uppsala University researchers reporting in Communications Biology outline population patterns identified in Central and Eastern Europe during the Stone Age, or Neolithic, transition, highlighting hunter-gatherer groups present in different parts of the region prior to the arrival of agricultural migrants from Anatolia. Using whole-genome sequencing, the team profiled 56 Mesolithic, Neolithic, or Eneolithic individuals at sites in present-day Romania, Poland, and Ukraine, analyzing cultural practices in combination with local ancestry patterns and uncovering a population in Ukraine's Dnipro Valley that remained relatively isolated during the Stone Age. "Our investigation revealed that before [the] Neolithic, the eastern frontier of Europe contained an admixture cline between genetically differentiated groups from Central Europe and Siberia," the authors report. "We also observe stronger genetic continuity and limited admixture in the Dnipro Valley region after the Neolithic transition while large-scale gene flow took place in populations further to the west."

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.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

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.