AoU Research Priorities Use Cases

Which genetic and environmental factors contribute to sexual orientation, and related health conditions?

Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are underrepresented in biomedical research. While much relevant data is already planned for collection by AllofUs, additional or elaborated measures (see "data items") would help in seeking new leads and advancing work on pre-existing questions in the field. These items include sociodemographic (e.g., trait information), clinical (various associated conditions), and biological (genomic, other omic, and immunological) data points.

The remaining questions allow you to outline in more detail the information needed to address your research question. The series of questions allow up to five entries. If you have more than five entries, please try to prioritize them and enter the remainder in the final field. When done, click Submit at the bottom. Yes

Select your required Data Item #1, which is most important to your study. This would be an item that needs to be generated and collected from different sources using various procedures, tools, techniques, assays, etc. If not in the current selection, please enter it in the textbox below. Sociodemographics

If you did not find your Data Item #1 in the dropdown selection above, please enter it here. Besides “Sociodemographics”, other items from the drop-down list would at least partly apply here: behavioral measures, depression, history (addiction, exercise, health, lifestyle, mental health, smoking, substance use), nicotine metabolites, occupation, opioid screen, physical activity level, stress, and weight. While some items relevant for sexual orientation research are already being sought in the AoU protocol such as in the AoU Lifestyle questionnaire (e.g., substance use, smoking, alcohol) and the AoU Basic questionnaire (birth biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ancestry), other items could be added to enable such research such as other risk-taking behaviors (besides substance use), depression, anxiety, stigma, number of offspring, sibship size and birth order (both by sex of siblings), birth weight, and additional information on other conditions above. Such information, coupled with the biological information described in data item #2, will allow extension of some work (e.g., GWAS on sexual orientation are only now being reported and enlarged datasets will augment statistical power, confirmation and follow-up of fraternal birth order immunological findings), new combinations of data to be analyzed in the same dataset (e.g., joint analyses of genomics, sexual orientation, and associated clinical conditions), previously studied items to be examined in new populations (e.g., molecular analyses of sexual orientation in non-European ancestries), and previously unreported approaches (e.g., other omic analyses of the trait, sequence analyses).

By what method will Data Item #1 be obtained? This may Include procedures, tools, techniques, assays, and analytical approaches for the collection, measurement, or analysis of data. If you do not find the required method, you may enter it in the textbox below. Survey

If you did not find your method for obtaining Data Item #1 in the dropdown selection above, please enter it here. Besides “Survey”, other items from the drop-down list would at least partly apply here: activity and mobile monitor, CES-D (i.e., for depression), electronic health records (EHR), and physical exam (e.g., for BMI).

Are there specifications that apply to the method by which Data Item #1 will be obtained, e.g., is the measurement taken once a year, every month, or some other variation? If you do not find your specification in the dropdown, you may enter it in the textbox below. Once

If you did not find your methodology specifications for Data Item #1 above, please enter it here. While “Once” (e.g., to categorize sexual orientation) would suffice for many sexual orientation research Survey questions, consideration could be given to supplementing this with longitudinal information, e.g., “Include child, teenager, early adult, adult, elderly” time-points (some being retrospective depending on the participants age) from the drop-down menu.

Data Item #2 Genome

If Data Item #2 was not in the dropdown, please enter it here. Besides “Genome”, other items from the drop-down list would at least partly apply here: epigenetic markers, HIV. In addition, other omic parameters (genotyping, exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, transcriptomics, and metabolomics) if collected, could enable such research.

Method #2 Whole Genome Genotyping (WGG)

If Method #2 was not in the dropdown, please enter it here Besides “Whole Genome Genotyping (WGG)”, other items from the drop-down list would at least partly apply here: whole exome sequencing (WES), whole genome sequencing (WGS), blood test tube (if available for mothers [e.g., if both son and mother in a family enroll in AoU] of homosexual men vs. heterosexual men, to assay for antibodies to Y-linked proteins [especially neuroligin 4]) or ELISA (if available for Y-linked proteins such as neuroligin 4), and HLA test (again if available for mothers to help explore the immunological aspects of the fraternal birth order effect on sexual orientation).

Specification #2 Once

If Specification #2 was not in the dropdown, please enter it here: While “Once” (e.g., to generate WGG) would suffice for many sexual orientation research questions, consideration could be given to supplementing this with longitudinal information, e.g., for a subset of mothers-to-be, collecting antibody levels (e.g., for Y-linked proteins such as neuroligin 4) before the first pregnancy and after each successive pregnancy with a male fetus (to assess for increasing levels as predicted by the immunological aspects of the fraternal birth order effect on sexual orientation).

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Idea No. 286