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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.