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Adam Smith Would be Proud

On his blog, Building Confidence, Russ Altman suggests that scientists write their own summaries of genetic association studies for the public. He says there need not be a healthcare worker to help a person understand their genetic information (he calls that "paternalistic") if journal editors and authors would include summaries defining, in lay terms, the health significance of the alleles in the study and how that information relates to other genetic or environmental data. "Basically, I am proposing that we handle the issue of 'public education' by creating inexpensive and ubiquitous summaries of the health implications of genetic associations, peer review them, disseminate them widely and freely, and allow a market to emerge that helps individuals interpret their genome," Altman writes.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.