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A DTC 'Flashpoint'

Some pharmacogenomic DTC tests that aim to assess a person's response to particular medicines may end up available only through a doctor's prescription, says New Scientist's Peter Aldhous. As FDA moves toward regulating the DTC genetic testing industry, the question of whether pharmacogenomic tests in particular should be regulated is "emerging as a flashpoint," Aldhous says. Last week, an FDA panel convened to make recommendations on the issue; members of the panel generally agreed that several types of tests should be available only by prescription, including, Aldhous says, "pre-symptomatic tests for serious conditions, such as cancer, and pharmacogenetic tests." DTC firm 23andMe says that while no one should alter their medical routines without first consulting a doctor, physicians shouldn't be the "gatekeepers" of genetic information, Aldhous adds.

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.