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New Genetics Roundup

March 15, 2013

Scientists discover shared genetic markers for five common psychiatric disorders.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Paternal obesity impacts kids. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Prospective moms get lots of advice about taking care of themselves. But what about dads? A new study in journal BMC Medicine suggests that paternal obesity can increase children’s risk of cancer. Scientists analyzed DNA from umbilical cords and found that children of obese dads showed lower activation of a gene called IGF2 and that increases the risk of these children developing cancer later on.

In other genetics news, a major study published in the journal Lancet shows that five psychiatric disorders – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism among them—share four genetic markers, all related to how brain cells regulate calcium. The discovery of this common foundation could lead to new ways to predict, prevent and treat the disorders. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.