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$4 Million and Years of Hype

According to SEC filings, 23andMe gave $4 million to one executive officer, blogs BNET's Rachel Lehmann-Haupt. That money was payment to a company officer for a loan, but Lehmann-Haupt notes that "given the fact that it’s a rocky time financially for 23andMe, it also seems like a bad time to lay out so much cash to one person." Indeed, in the past year, Linda Avey left, the company had a round of layoffs, and increased the price of their products. Razib at Gene Expression adds that some 23andMe employees are not happy, according to postings at Glassdoor. There, one employee wrote that "all decisions came down to one person, and it was NOT the ceo. Senior managers made some grave mistakes and many employees suffered." Daniel MacArthur at Genetic Future says that "personal genomics is transparently going through the Gartner hype cycle … and right now we're firmly wedged in the trough of disillusionment, following a peak of inflated expectations for which personal genomics companies themselves must take the bulk of the blame."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.