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An Earlier Start

While the National Institutes of Health is looking into newborn screening, a recent article in the Hastings Center Report examines ethical considerations of prenatal whole-genome sequencing, particularly as its implications are not clear, reports Medical Daily. Greer Donley, Sara Chandros Hull, and Benjamin Berkman write that they are concerned that such prenatal testing may "change the norms and expectations of pregnancy in ways that complicate parental autonomy and informed decision-making, exacerbate the deleterious role that genetic determinism plays in child rearing, and undermine children's future autonomy by removing the option of not knowing their genetic information without appropriate justification."

Medical Daily's Makini Brice adds that parents might not, if they know their child is predicted to have a low IQ, encourage that child to perform well in school, even if the prediction is incorrect.

At Gene Expression, blogger Razib Khan — who had his child genotyped — says these concerns are overblown. "As for phenotypic prediction, who exactly are these parents who won't invest in a child who may have difficulties?" he asks. "Sure, they exist, but I'm pretty sure they're not the ones who will pony up for prenatal sequencing! Rather than not investing in a child a natural weakness in one domain may actually be a reason to invest more in that child!"

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.