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Study Finds Shared Genetic Contributors to Insomnia, Sepsis

In JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Nord University, and elsewhere present findings from a Mendelian randomization study that suggests genetic contributors to insomnia may also dial up sepsis risk. Starting with 555 genetic variants linked to insomnia through a genome-wide association study, the team analyzed potential ties between the conditions using genetic data for some 2.4 million individuals from the UK Biobank Project and 23andMe with or without insomnia, along with 10,154 sepsis cases and nearly 452,800 controls of European ancestry from the UK Biobank Project. The analyses pointed to an uptick in sepsis cases in individuals with genetically predicted insomnia, particularly in women — ties that appeared to reflect shared cardiometabolic risk factors such as type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. "Our aim was to assess if insomnia is associated with risk of sepsis when applying instrumental variable analyses using genetic instruments," the authors write, noting that the results "support a potential causal association between genetically predicted insomnia and risk of sepsis."

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.