Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Genomics in Open Spaces, Genetic Testing Regulation, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Premium

In the April 2002 issue of Genome Technology, we took a look at the new facilities being built to house the growing genomics field. Many of the new spaces were being envisioned as open laboratories with flexible designs. "We give the scientists the ability to reinvent the space," Rafael Viñoly, who designed the building housing the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University, said at the time. Some institutes looked to literally break down walls: The Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan was built with no walls between labs. And more labs are following that open-space trend. The Broad Institute broke ground on a new building last fall that will provide researchers with collaborative workspaces.

In 2007, GT spoke with Gail Javitt, then the law and policy director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University, about regulating genetic tests. Javitt said that the regulatory framework for overseeing genetic tests was "arbitrary" and "not based on levels of risk of a genetic test." She advised that interested parties come up with a new framework based, in part, on risk. Javitt is now counsel in the food and drug regulatory division of law firm Sidley Austin's Washington, DC, office. In a 2010 Nature opinion piece, Javitt argued that direct-to-consumer genetic tests should be treated like all other genetic tests, and that FDA should put a regulatory framework in place to ensure the tests' quality and assess the risks they pose.

At this time last year, researchers were waiting to see whether the plan for the contentious National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences would pan out. The plan called for the redistribution of a number of National Institutes of Health programs and for the dismantling of the National Center for Research Resources. At the 2011 Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities meeting in San Antonio, Texas, Wake Forest University's Mark Lively said the National Advisory Research Resources Council, which advised NCRR, was concerned about the process. "We are questioning the manner in which it was done," Lively said. The fate of NCATS and NCRR was in limbo while the US Congress bickered over the federal budget, but ultimately, in December 2011, NCATS sprang into being while NCRR faded away.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.