Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

A Bit of a Breach

Tech Crunch reporter Zack Whittaker looks at a customer data breach at Veritas Genetics. The Massachusetts company confirmed that a breach had impacted its "customer-facing portal," but did not provide details on the type of information that was stolen.

A representative for the firm downplayed the data theft in the article, suggesting it affected a "handful" of customers and involved a portal that does not house customers' genetic data, test results, or medical information. 

"Although the stolen data did not include personal health information, it's likely to further fuel concerns that health startups, particularly companies dealing with sensitive DNA and genome information, can't protect their users' data," Whittaker writes.

Kristen Brown, who reported the breach in Bloomberg on Wednesday, noted that Veritas has already sequenced thousands of genomes and plans to reach more than 150,000 genome sequences in the coming years.

"As genetic testing has grown in popularity, so too have concerns about privacy," Brown writes. "Whole-genome sequencing is an expensive, niche product, but cheaper genotyping tests have surged in popularity."

Last week, Veritas announced that its international subsidiary, known as Veritas Intercontinental, had reached a deal to provide whole-genome sequencing, exome sequencing, analysis, and interpretation services in Brazil through the Genomika testing lab.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.