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And Now, a Word from the Other Side of the Debate

This column from AlterNet challenges the general excitement with which people have responded to the news about Google's interest in the healthcare field and companies like 23andMe and Navigenics. Noting that a consumer watchdog group recently gave Google the lowest grade for its protection of and respect for user privacy, the article says, "With that low mark in mind, you might find the idea of Google's having its virtual hands on your medical history a bit disturbing." The story skims through Esther Dyson's commitment to open access to genome sequence, and has this to say about 23andMe:

In its race to transform the falling price of genetic sequencing into a dubious consumer product, the company fails to realize that your medical history and personal genome are fundamentally different than your reading habits, and "patients" are not synonymous with "consumers."

 

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.