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At the Click of a Mouse

With advances in synthetic biology, it will soon be possible for people to use a so-called DNA printer "to print our own treatments" cheaply, writes Vivek Wadhwa in a column at The Washington Post. A colleague of Wadhwa's at Singularity University, Andrew Hessel, tells him that people will be able to search for and print out genetic designs. "He predicts that cold and flu vaccine designs will be spread quickly over social media and that the process will be as easy as downloading an app on a smartphone," Wadhwa writes. However, Wadhwa notes that such capabilities would also raise concerns regarding bioterrorism and bio-crime. "We will need anti-virus software and defenses just as we have for computer software," he says. "But although we can reformat our hard disks to remove a computer virus, we can't reformat our genomes ... yet."

The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.