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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.