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This Week in Nature: Aug 17, 2017

In this week's Nature Neuroscience, a team of British and Chinese scientists reports on the use of genome-wide association studies to identify existing drugs that may be effective for new indications in psychiatry. By comparing transcriptomes imputed from GWAS data with drug-induced gene expression profiles from the Broad Institute's Connectivity Map cellular signal database, the researchers were able to identify drug candidates for repositioning for seven psychiatric disorders. "These findings provide support for the usefulness of GWAS data in guiding drug discovery," the study's authors write. GenomeWeb has more on this study, here.

And in Nature Ecology & Evolution, a group led by Ghent University investigators publishes a study suggesting that habitat choice plays a key role in adaptation under rapid environmental changes, challenging the notion that high gene flow precludes local adaptation. Using Tetrahymena thermophila, a ciliate that performs active dispersal and habitat choice, the researchers present experimental evidence indicating that local adaptation to the upper margin of a species' thermal niche is favored by dispersal with habitat choice, but hindered under random dispersal. The findings highlight the importance of pinpointing the environmental conditions required for the evolution of habitat choice to quantify its effects in sexually reproducing systems where recombination occurs, the researchers conclude.