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It's Highly Specific. It's Non-invasive. And It's Got to Be Cheaper, People

The release of a new genetic test in the UK highlights the promise and pitfalls of biomarker-based diagnostics. The test measures the expression of PCA3, a gene linked to prostate cancer, and relies on urine samples instead of blood, according to this report from BBC. The promise: The gene under scrutiny appears to be "a more specific indicator of cancer than PSA," the article says. And the pitfall: But the diagnostic will cost £200, making it "unlikely to be used routinely" with more potential for use in "high-risk patients."


The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.