Neanderthal DNA has subtle but significant impact on human traits

Modern man (left) and Neanderthal man The first study comparing Neanderthal DNA from the genomes of adults of European ancestry and their medical records has revealed its effect on modern human biology. Reporting in Science, investigators with Vanderbilt University funded by NHGRI's Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) program found associations between Neanderthal DNA and immunological, dermatological, neurological, psychiatric and reproductive diseases. Read more

Fearfulness changes impact of genomic information in overweight women

Virtual doctor seen on a computer monitor New research suggests that fearful patients who received information about the role of genomics in being overweight viewed the information as threatening and were less likely to take steps to improve their health habits than those in a neutral or angry state. The study, by researchers from NHGRI's Social and Behavioral Research Branch, was published in an advanced online issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine on February 5, 2016. Read more

NHGRI's advisory council meets in open session

Group photo The open session for the seventy-sixth meeting of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research met Monday, February 8th, at Fishers Lane Conference Center. NHGRI Director Eric Green reported to council, followed by talks on Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa), integrating genomics into clinical practice, a recent roundtable on including underrepresented populations in genomic research, and more. Video of this event will be available soon. View agenda

NIH researchers identify genomic signature shared by five types of cancer

Read more National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer. They've also found evidence that this methylation signature may be present in many more types of cancer. The specific signature results from a chemical modification of DNA called methylation, which can control the expression of genes like a dimmer on a light switch. The study appears in the February 5 issue of The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. Read more

The Genomics Landscape

NHGRI Genome Sequencing Program: Blazing the Path Forward in Human Disease Genomics

Eric Green Much to the chagrin of most adult Washingtonians (I note that children have a very different attitude about this), our seemingly mild winter ended abruptly last weekend with the accumulation of a record-breaking amount of snow. However, the 'Blizzard of 2016' failed to chill my enthusiasm for recent developments with the NHGRI Genome Sequencing Program - whose new phase was announced last month. Read more

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