In the Literature
Understanding Validity in Empirical Legal Research:The Case for Methodological Pluralism in Assessing the Impact of Science in Court
Teneille R. Brown, James Tabery, and Lisa G. Aspinwall
The authors argue that experimental and archival projects complement each other by asking and answering different questions aimed at different forms of validity.
Genetic Essentialist Biases, Stigma, and Lack of Mitigating Impact on Punishment Decisions
Colleen M. Berryessa
This commentary responds to “The Blunt-Edged Sword: Genetic Explanations of Misbehavior Neither Mitigate Nor Aggravate Punishment” by Nicholas Scurich and Paul Appelbaum. The author discusses one potential set of countervailing beliefs, called genetic essentialist biases, that might help to explain the lack of a mitigating effect of genetic predispositions on sentence severity.
Will Precision Medicine Move Us beyond Race?
Vence Bonham et al.
Self-identified race does not predict the genotype or drug response of an individual patient. Will precision medicine revolutionize our understanding of race and its utility (or lack thereof) in clinical practice?
Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies 74 Loci Associated with Educational Attainment
Aysu Okbay et al.
The authors’ findings demonstrate that for educational attainment — a behavioral phenotype that is mostly environmentally determined — a well-powered genome-wide association study identifies replicable associated genetic variants that suggest biologically relevant pathways.
Estimating the Roles of Genetic Risk, Perinatal Risk, and Marital Hostility on Early Childhood Adjustment: Medical Records and Self-Reports
Jenae M. Neiderhiser et al.
Much of work linking perinatal risk factors to later developmental outcomes in children has relied on either birth/medical records or mothers’ self-reports collected after delivery.This paper examines the correspondence between medical record data and self-report data; examines how perinatal risk factors may influence child behavior at age 4.5 years; and explores interactions among genetics, perinatal risk, and rearing environment on child behavior during early childhood.
Detection and Interpretation of Shared Genetic Influences on 42 Human Traits
Joseph K Pickrell et al.
The authors scanned for genetic variants by comparing large genome-wide association studies of 42 traits or diseases. They identified 341 loci associated with multiple traits, and then used them to identify traits that have multiple genetic causes in common. They then developed a method to identify pairs of traits showing evidence of a causal relationship.
The New Era of Informed Consent: Getting to a Reasonable-Patient Standard Through Shared Decision-Making
Erica S. Spatz, Harlan M. Krumholz, & Benjamin W. Moulton
The reasonable-patient standard views the informed consent communication process from the patient’s perspective. The authors suggest that embracing this standard through the promotion of shared decision making will benefit patients, the health system, and society.
The Ethics of Large-Scale Genomic Research
Benjamin E. Berkman et al.
Large-scale genomic repositories (LSGRs) raise ethical concerns about privacy, participant autonomy, public trust in research, and justice. The authors suggest that there is not yet sufficient evidence to motivate enactment of major policy changes to safeguard welfare interests, though there might be strong reasons to worry about subjects’ non-welfare interests.
DNA Methylation in Newborns and Maternal Smoking in Pregnancy: Genome-wide Consortium Meta-analysis.
Bonnie R. Joubert et al.
The authors formed the Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) consortium and did a meta-analysis of the association between maternal smoking in pregnancy and newborn blood DNA methylation at over 450,000 CpG sites by using the Illumina 450K BeadChip. They identified numerous loci involved in response to maternal smoking in pregnancy with persistence into later childhood and provide insights into mechanisms underlying effects of this important exposure.
Epigenetic Germline Inheritance of Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance
The authors show that a parental high-fat diet renders offspring more susceptible to developing obesity and diabetes. The epigenetic inheritance of acquired metabolic disorders may contribute to the current obesity and diabetes pandemic.
Behavioral Functioning in Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome: Risk Factors and Impact on Parenting Experience
Elizabeth I. Pierpont and Melinda Wolford
This study investigates behavioral functioning in children with cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome (CFC). Results of this study suggest avenues to help families cope with CFC-related stressors and enhance overall functioning. In particular, this study highlights the need for educational and treatment interventions aimed at addressing sensory needs, increasing functional communication, and identifying and managing challenging behaviors.