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How Genetics Affect Business

Genomics Law Report's Allain Andry says advances in genetics ripple out through the business world and — through new laws, regulations, and uncertainty over patents — affect almost all businesses in some fashion. For example, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits health insurers from using a person's genetic code to deny coverage or raise rates, Andry says. GINA also now prohibits employers from using a person's genetic code as a reason to deny employment — the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's anti-discrimination posters that detail all the protected categories like age, sex, and religion has been updated to include GINA, Andry points out. Another issue that's come up recently is gene patenting and intellectual property. The Myriad court case, though far from over, Andry says, could have far-reaching consequences once all is said and done. "Stay tuned to see if Congress can long avoid jumping in with new laws that will affect genetics-related intellectual property rights," Andry says.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.