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A Clinical Option

Sequencing six-year-old Nicholas Volker's genome identified a mutation on his X chromosome that is associated with an immune disorder and could be behind his severe inflammatory bowel disease. While this project done by Medical College of Wisconsin researchers informed Volker's physicians, it was still a research project, reports Technology Review's Emily Singer. However, Howard Jacob, director the Human and Molecular Genetics Center there, says that genome sequencing should be a standard clinical option for children with rare, inherited diseases. To that end, Jacob has developed an infrastructure to handle clinical cases for sequencing. Recently, Singer reports, an unnamed insurance company has said that it will cover genome sequencing when it is shown to be cheaper than the combined number of diagnostic tests that children with rare diseases usually go through.

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.