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About the Family

At the Examiner.com, Sharon Ufberg criticizes J. Craig Venter for his "very lackadaisical attitude about family history." In a San Francisco Chronicle article from June, when asked about learning about health from your genome versus your family history, Venter said, "Knowing what your parents have gives you hints of things, but your genome is a totally unique combination of and interchange of DNA from your parents." Ufberg says that family history is an "invaluable" tool for assessing disease risk and she points out that Venter takes statins as a result of a family history of heart disease.

The National Institutes of Health recently issued a draft consensus statement, called "Family History and Improving Health," in which a panel recognized the importance of family history in the practice of medicine and as a patient motivator, but also said it was unsure how to gather that information effectively for use in primary care practices.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.