Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in Nature: Jun 11, 2015

In this week's Nature, an international team of researchers present an analysis of 101 genomes from ancient Eurasian humans, revealing wide-scale population migrations and shifts that took place in Europe and Asia during the Bronze Age that shaped the demographics of modern-day humans on those continents. Using new methods to sequence low-coverage genomes, the researchers were able to obtain enough genetic data to conduct detailed analyses, which provided insights into the prevalence of traits such as skin color or lactose tolerance in Europeans and Asians, as well as data informing the spread of Indo-European languages. GenomeWeb has more on this study here.

And in Nature Neuroscience, researchers from DeCode Genetics and their colleagues report data linking genetic variants associated with risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to creativity. By analyzing genetic data from more than 150,000 Icelandic individuals, they found that these variants could be used to predict who in a separate population of 86,000 people were members of national artistic societies of actors, dancers, musicians, visual artists, and writers. The scientists also found that these same variants would predict whether individuals within separate groups of nearly 9,000 Swedes and more than 18,000 Dutch were employed in creative professions. This relationship in all groups could not be accounted for by differences in IQ, educational attainment, or how closely an individual was related to someone with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The Scan has more on this here, too.