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A Slight Change

The National Institutes of Health has issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on a proposed revision of the definition of human embryonic stem cells. The previous definition “had the unintended consequence of excluding certain hESCs which may otherwise be appropriate for federal funding,” the notice reads. The newly proposed definition amends that pluripotent cells derived from early stage embryos “up to and including the blastocyst stage” are to be considered hESCs, whereas the previous definition accounted for only cells in the blastocyst stage. Lana Skirboll, associate director of the NIH’s Office of Science Policy told Nature that the change is merely a “small technical revision.”

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.