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This Week in Science: Aug 7, 2015

In Science this week, a multinational team of researchers presented the results of an analysis of copy number variations across various human populations, offering insights into the forces that eliminate and maintain them. By studying CNVs across 236 individual genomes from 125 distinct human populations, the investigators found that DNA duplications have "fundamentally different population genetic and selective signatures" versus deletions, with the latter more reflective of selection and the former more likely to be stratified between populations. They were also able to identify patterns of ancestry and the maintenance of admixed genomes resulting from interbreeding between ancient hominids. GenomeWeb has more on this study here.

Also in Science, a group of researchers from Microsoft, IBM, Google, and elsewhere presents a new technique for preserving validity in adaptive data analysis even when reusing data. Based on insights from privacy-preserving data analysis, the method involves testing hypotheses against aggregate information while keeping certain information about specific dataset components confidential.

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.