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Mike Groll / AP

A new study shows there are 389 specific genetic signals involved in the timing of puberty — four times the amount previously known.

  • Key detail: The researchers identified rare variations in two genes that lower the age of puberty when inherited from the father but have no effect when inherited from the mother. The finding suggests there may be different evolutionary benefits to parents of puberty starting earlier or later in their children.
  • Methodology: Researchers from the University of Cambridge analyzed the genomes of 370,000 women from earlier studies.
  • What's next: The researchers also found genetic evidence that links earlier timing of puberty to a greater risk of some cancers — breast, ovary and endometrial cancers in women and prostate cancer in men — that are sensitive to sex hormones later in life. However, more research needs to be done to identify the exact mechanisms and extent of the increased risk.

Go deeper

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.