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The DNA Sell

Miinome, Minneapolis-based startup, envisions a marketplace in which companies could advertise to people based upon their DNA sequences. The pitch, as MIT's Technology Review puts it, could be: "Do you carry the genetic variants associated with lactose intolerance? Here, Lactaid has a coupon for you."

Founders Paul Saarinen and Scott Fahrenkrug discussed this DNA-based marketing at South by Southwest last year. "The marketplace is getting close to making this a reality,” Fahrenkrug said at the time, according to Social Media Today. "You’re leaving DNA everywhere, since you shed one million cells every day."

They are, Tech Review says, envisioning this company as an opt-in service.

However, interpreting DNA sequences remains a challenge — going from a certain sequence to a propensity for buying garden gnomes (or enjoying spicy food, as Tech Review says) isn't quite within range yet.

But James Ostheimer, another Miinome cofounder, says it's coming. He envisions people linking up their genetic information to their Twitter or Facebook accounts, which could then be mined to find such associations.

"Scientifically, that sounds like a stretch. But commercially it might not be," Tech Review adds.

The Scan

Less Than Half

An effort to reproduce key findings from high-profile preclinical cancer studies finds less than half could be replicated, according to the Scientist.

Still Some SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing Holes

The Wall Street Journal reports that viral genomic surveillance has improved in the US, though says there are still gaps.

Avoiding Passing Them On

People with known disease-linked genetic variants are turning to in vitro fertilization so as to not pass those variants to their children, the Washington Post says.

PNAS Papers on Long Cell-Free DNA in Maternal Plasma, Genetic Propensity for Voting

In PNAS this week: long, cell-free DNA of maternal and fetal origins identified in maternal plasma, and more.