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Volume 50 Issue 9, September 2018

Volume 50 Issue 9

The braided stream

View from above onto the wild river valley alluvial land of Yarlung Tsangpo Jiang (Brahmaputra) in Tibet, China. A braided river inspires models of population and species histories that may be richer and more complex than the bifurcations of a tree.

“The genome revolution has taught us that great mixtures of highly divergent populations have occurred repeatedly. Instead of a tree, a better metaphor may be a trellis, branching and remixing far back into the past.”

David Reich, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past (Pantheon, New York, 2018)

“Evidence for genome-wide contradictions between gene trees and species trees is rapidly accumulating in a wide range of species, raising the question of whether this should lead to a reevaluation of the utility of the tree as model for speciation.”

Polina Yu Novikova et al. Nat. Genet. 48, 1077–1082, 2016

Image: Stefan Auth (Alamy). Cover Design: Erin Dewalt.


  • Editorial |

    Precision genomic medicine is now technically feasible. Just as global positioning systems revolutionized the logistics of travel, so genome-wide polygenic risk scores (GPSs) now have the potential to inform our trajectories of health and to serve in the prevention and mitigation of many common and complex diseases. We welcome research into the implementation of—and equity of access to—genetic predictors and their integration into clinical and evidence-based medical practice.


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Two new studies show that a plant-specific complex composed of EBS, or its homolog SHL, and EMF1 acts as a chromatin reader within the Polycomb pathway and effects gene repression. Two domains of EBS and SHL bind distinct chromatin modifications that are associated with active and repressed chromatin.

    • Kristin Krause
    • Franziska Turck
  • News & Views |

    A new study uncovers novel copy number signatures in ovarian cancer genomes. This work sheds light on mutational processes driving ovarian cancer, reveals the distribution of copy number features across the patient population and identifies new genomic properties related to treatment response.

    • Sohrab P. Shah
  • News & Views |

    Individual genome-wide polygenic risk scores (GPSs) for assessing disease susceptibility have been shown to yield both reliable and clinically meaningful results. However, certain impediments and outdated ways of thinking about health maintenance must be overcome before GPSs are adopted in routine care streams.

    • Andrew J. Schork
    • M. Anthony Schork
    • Nicholas J. Schork


  • Perspective |

    This proposal calls for the initiation of national population-screening programs to identify carriers of cancer gene mutations for long-term, large-scale analysis of longitudinal clinical data to aid in prevention and early detection of disease.

    • Clare Turnbull
    • Amit Sud
    • Richard S. Houlston




Amendments & Corrections


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