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Expensive? Potentially Inaccurate? Let's Take It!

The New York Times' John Tierney boils the two recent studies evaluating direct-to-consumer gene scan outcomes down to that "most people say they’ll pay for genetic tests even if the predictions are sometimes wrong, and most people don't seem to be traumatized even when they receive bad news." Tierney adds:

The traditional structure of American medicine gives control to doctors and to centralized regulators who make treatment decisions for everyone. These genetic tests represent a different philosophy, and point toward a possible future with people taking more charge of their own care and seeking treatments customized to their bodies.

Princeton University's Lee Silver tells the Times that "it seems like a no-brainer … that any competent adult should be free to purchase an analysis of their own DNA as long as they have been informed in advance of what could potentially be revealed in the analysis. You should have access to information about your own genome without a permission slip from your doctor."

Over at the Times' Learning Network blog, Jennifer Cutraro and Holly Epstein Ojalvo propose a lesson plan for educators who wish to spark discussions on the pros and cons of DTC genetic scans in their classrooms.

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.