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Ideas from Unexpected Places

Have an innovative idea? Even if it's not omics-y and necessarily in your wheelhouse, that's what one grant programs is looking for. The Global Challenges this year, in response to the ongoing epidemic in West Africa, is looking for new designs for a protective suit, NPR reports.

The US Agency for International Development announced a $5 million contest earlier this week that's looking for cooler, more breathable designs for protective suits. And anyone can enter.

A previous challenge idea came from Jorge Odon, a mechanic in Argentina, who designed a way using a plastic sleeve and an air pump to help a fetus that's having trouble getting through the birth canal. His idea was inspired by a YouTube video he saw for getting a cork out of an empty wine bottle using a plastic bag.

"Part of what we try to do under this type of funding is not to incrementally advance the state of knowledge but to take a risk on new ideas," Steve Buchsbaum, who leads the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenge program, tells NPR. He notes that many of the idea won't work out, but some might.

The Scan

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

Embryos produced with spindle transfer-based mitochondrial replacement had delayed demethylation, but typical aneuploidy and transcriptome features in a PLOS Biology study.

Cancer Patients Report Quality of Life Benefits for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy was linked in JAMA Network Open to enhanced quality of life compared to other treatment types in cancer patients.

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.