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Genetic Tests, Right Next to the Exlax

Pathway Genomics' Insight test will be on the shelves of about 6,000 Walgreens, reports the Washington Post. This "boldest move yet to bring the power of modern molecular medicine to the mass market" may also me "irresponsible" as it "could give many buyers a dangerous false sense of security or, conversely, needlessly alarm them," the Post says. In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration says it will be looking into whether the test can legally be sold, as FDA has not approved it. "They are making medical claims. We don't know whether the test works and whether patients are taking actions that could put them in jeopardy based on the test," says Alberto Gutierrez, the director of the office of in vitro diagnostics at FDA.

Pathway's chief science officer David Becker says they don't think they need approval. "I think there is some underestimation of the ability of the American public to understand this kind of information," Becker says. "They may not understand the exact specifics, but they do understand that these are propensities."

Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News notes that the tests will not be found in Walgreens in New York as the state has stricter rules surrounding direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Pathway does have a license from the state of California, and is CLIA-certified.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.