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DTC at ASHG

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing services took one of the many spotlights at this year's American Society of Human Genetics meeting held in Washington, DC Science Insider recaps a talk from the Cleveland Clinic's Charis Eng, in which the geneticist expressed worry that patients who take DTC cancer screens "could be falsely reassured of falsely alarmed." The New Scientist highlights the Genetics and Public Policy Center's David Kaufman's presentation, in which he surveyed more than 1,000 customers from three DTC firms in order to assess whether they'd changed their behavior between two and six months after receiving their results. Kaufman found that 34 percent of respondents indicated that they'd become more vigilant about their dietary choices, 14 percent had increased their exercise, and 16 percent said they'd changed their medications, according to the magazine. "We don't give people enough credit to people's abilities to decide what's useful to them. ... People who get their data are generally pleased with it, and they respond in generally positive ways," Kaufman said at the meeting. Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more DTC discussion coverage from ASHG, here.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.