Machine learning and access to ever-expanding databases improves genomic prediction of human traits. In theory, a scientist could predict your height using just your genome sequence. In practice, though, this is still the stuff of science fiction. It’s not only your genes that affect height—environment also plays a role—but the larger problem is that height is affected by tens of thousands of individual genetic variations. This is also true of other complex traits, such as susceptibility to particular diseases. To get closer to accurate genomic prediction of human traits, geneticists are using new approaches to harness the vast amounts of...


Parent of origin effects help determine how lab rats respond to stress. Although your father and mother each contribute a copy of your genes, these copies don’t always play equal roles. Instead, one parent’s gene can have a disproportionate effect on the offspring’s phenotype, resulting in complex patterns of inheritance. In G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, Mont et al. examined such effects in the behavior of lab rats. One example of parent of origin effects (PoE) is genomic imprinting, a phenomenon in which only either the maternal or paternal allele of a gene is expressed. Imprinting is associated with a range of developmental...


Study of huge Ancestry.com pedigree suggests assortative mating may have inflated previous estimates of life span heritability. Although long life tends to run in families, genetics has far less influence on life span than previously estimated, according to a new analysis published in GENETICS.  Ruby et al. used a data set of over 400 million historical persons obtained from public pedigrees on Ancestry.com to estimate the heritability of life span, finding it to be well below 10%. “We can potentially learn many things about the biology of aging from human genetics, but if the heritability of life span is low...


This post is part of the Early Career Scientist Policy Subcommittee’s series on science policy fellowships. The Early Career Advocacy Fellowship (ECAF) is a two-year program to engage early career scientists (ECS) in advocacy activities while they continue their academic work. All members of the American Physiological Society who live in the US and are within 10 years of receiving a PhD are eligible to apply. The application deadline for this cycle is November 16. Rebecca Osthus, PhD, is the Associate Director for Government Relations and Science Policy at the American Physiological Society. Rebecca oversees the fellowship program and told...


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Join the Communication and Outreach Subcommittee of GSA’s Early Career Scientist Leadership and Professional Development Program. Are you a student or postdoc with a passion for science communication and outreach? Gain valuable experience, professional skills, portfolio pieces, and a vibrant network by applying for the Communication and Outreach Subcommittee, one of four subcommittees under the GSA’s Early Career Scientist Leadership and Professional Development Program, brainchild of Sonia Hall. “The opportunity to gain writing, communication, and storytelling skills as an Early Career Scientist is a huge opportunity. Whether your aim is academia, industry, or other, your ability to communicate science is of...