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Democracy Brings Us Exciting Elections and Bargain-Basement Genetic Testing

Apparently Andrew Yates isn't the only one thinking that DTC genetic testing might be in trouble. 23andMe announced in a blog post that it was cutting its rates, and this story from the San Francisco Chronicle explains more about the company's decision to charge $399 instead of $999. "While the genome companies say they are empowering individuals who want more control over their own health care, critics have cautioned that most of the genetic information provided would make little real difference in decisions made by patients and their doctors," the article says. 23andMe, however, claims that this is simply a push to "democratize" personal genomics.

Not quite ready to be a man (or woman) of the people? Not to worry -- genome sequencing is developing its own caste system. Genetic Future's Daniel MacArthur blogs about Knome, "the current pinnacle of luxury personal genomics," which charges a hefty $350,000 to churn out your genome sequence.

 

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.