Down on Vitamin D? It could be the cause of chronic inflammation

World-first genetic research from the University of South Australia shows a direct link between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of inflammation, providing an important biomarker to identify people at higher risk of or severity of chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component.

Scientists discover genes that affect the risk of developing pre-leukaemia

The discovery of 14 inherited genetic changes which significantly increase the risk of a person developing a symptomless blood disorder associated with the onset of some types of cancer and heart disease is published today in Nature Genetics. The finding, made in one of the largest studies of its kind through genetic data analysis on 421,738 people, could pave the way for potential new approaches for the prevention and early detection of cancers including leukaemia.

Sea dragons’ genes give clues to their distinctive looks

Even with plenty of fish in the sea, sea dragons stand out from the crowd. The funky, fabulous fish are bedecked with ruffly leaf-like adornments. Their spines are kinked. They’re missing their ribs and their teeth. And the responsibility of pregnancy is taken on by the males. By sequencing the genomes of two species of sea dragons, University of Oregon researchers have found genetic clues to the fish’s distinctive features: They’re missing a key group of genes found in other vertebrates. Those genes help direct the development of the face, teeth and appendages, as well as parts of the nervous system.

Scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and 23andMe Find Genetic Link to People’s Ability to Move to a Musical Beat

The study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, is the first large-scale genome-wide association study of a musical trait. Gordon and Lea Davis, PhD, associate professor of Medicine, both co-senior authors on the findings, along with Maria Niarchou, PhD, research instructor in the Department of Medicine and first author of the paper, co-led a team of international collaborators in novel groundwork toward understanding the biology underlying how musicality relates to other health traits.

The Application of Noninvasive Prenatal Screening Using Cell-free DNA in General Risk Pregnancies – The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Publishes its Highly Anticipated Evidence-based Review

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) has released its second, highly anticipated systematic evidence-based review (SER): “The Application of Noninvasive Prenatal Screening Using Cell-free DNA in General Risk Pregnancies.”

COVID-19, MIS-C and Kawasaki Disease Share Same Immune Response

COVID-19, MIS-C and KD all share a similar underlying mechanism involving the over-activation of particular inflammatory pathways, UC San Diego study shows. Findings support novel drug targets for MIS-C.

Rutgers Researcher Aims to Protect and Regenerate Corals Through Coral Genomics with $500K NSF Grant and Award-Winning Video

A Rutgers researcher will use genomics, genetics, and cell biology to identify and understand the corals’ response to heat stress conditions and to pinpoint master regulatory genes involved in coral bleaching due to global warming and climate change. The researcher and his team will use a novel gene-editing tool as a resource to knock down some gene functions with the goal of boosting the corals’ abilities to survive.

For Neurons, Where They Begin Isn’t Necessarily Where They End

Scientists at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine describe novel methods for inferring the movement of human brain cells during fetal development by studying healthy adult individuals who have recently passed away from natural causes.

Penn Medicine Awarded $9.5 Million Grant from The Warren Alpert Foundation to Increase Diversity in Genetic Counseling Programs

Penn Medicine has been awarded a $9.5 million grant from The Warren Alpert Foundation (WAF) to continue its efforts to increase diversity in genetic counseling, a field that, despite impressive leaps forward in genetic knowledge, lacks a diverse workforce.

Penn Medicine Awarded $6 Million to Advance Understanding of Human Genome Function in Health and Disease

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected Penn Medicine as one of 25 award recipients across 30 sites in the United States to serve as Impact of Genomic Variation on Function (IGVF) investigators, with the goal of better understanding how genetic differences impact how human genes function, and how these variations influence human health and disease.

Social support reduces genetic risk factors that can lead to alcohol use problems

A new study from the Arizona State University Department of Psychology shows that the combination of genetic predisposition to alcohol use disorders and personality type can lead to problematic drinking behaviors. Having strong social support from friends was identified as protective against excessive drinking. The work was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Schizophrenia Study Suggests Advanced Genetic Scorecard Cannot Predict a Patient’s Fate

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that a tool commonly used in research for evaluating a person’s genetic risk for a disease, called a polygenic risk score, was no better at predicting the outcome of a schizophrenia patient’s disease over time than written reports. The results raise important questions about the use of polygenic risk scores in real-world, clinical situations, and also suggest that a doctor’s written report may be an untapped source of predictive information.

Exercise May Not Offset Genetic Predisposition for Low Exercise Capacity, Impaired Insulin Sensitivity

Article title: Genetically determined exercise capacity affects systemic glucose response to insulin in rats Authors: Michael Schwarzer, Annika Molis, Christina Schenkl, Andrea Schrepper, Steven L. Britton, Lauren Gerard Koch, Torsten Doenst From the authors: “In our model of [high capacity…

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Researchers Develop Tools to Measure Skeletal Muscle Function in Patients with Mitochondrial Disease

Researchers successfully developed and validated a new outcome measure to monitor disease severity and progression in patients with impaired skeletal muscle function caused by mitochondrial disease. This measure, named ‘Mitochondrial Myopathy-Composite Assessment Tool’ (‘MM-COAST’), is important to identify specific skeletal muscle and neurological problems in both children and adults with mitochondrial disease and may be used to measure response to treatment interventions in future clinical trials.