The advent of genomic sequencing opened a new era of precision medicine in which treatments can take into account the unique differences between individuals. But there’s one major hurdle: The data is overwhelmingly from white people. As a result, researchers are unable to capture much of the genetic diversity of populations around the world. And lacking a full picture of all the forms the human genome can take can limit understanding of a given disease.

One global initiative is trying to change that. Researchers in 14 countries across four continents are collecting and analyzing DNA samples from around the world, trying to uncover the genetic underpinnings of mental illness. Hailiang Huang and his colleagues describe the guiding principles of the collaboration, and the new sequencing method they’ve developed to help capture the genetic diversity of humanity.

Ukrainian armed forces have made stunning progress in counteroffensives against Russia in the north-east and south, despite being significantly outgunned. As Russia and security expert Matthew Sussex explains, Russia’s ailing military performance raises the question of where Putin goes next. Escalation looks increasingly likely - but what form would that take?

Vivian Lam

Assistant Health and Biomedicine Editor

Uncovering the genetic basis of mental illness requires data and tools that aren’t just based on white people – this international team is collecting DNA samples around the globe

Hailiang Huang, Harvard University

Existing genetic data and sequencing tools are overwhelmingly based on people of European ancestry, which excludes much of the rich genetic variation of the world.

With his army on the back foot, is escalation over Ukraine Vladimir Putin’s only real option?

Matthew Sussex, Australian National University

Vladmir Putin has a new problem. His invasion of Ukraine is not just bogged down. It’s going backwards.

Is your gas stove bad for your health?

Jonathan Levy, Boston University

Natural gas has been marketed for decades as a clean fuel, but a growing body of research shows that gas stoves can contribute significantly to indoor air pollution, as well as climate change.