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Just Like a Game of Ping Pong

In the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Jeffrey Gulcher and Kári Stefánsson have a written debate with David Ransohoff and Muin Khoury. Gulcher and Stefánsson argue that as variants associated with disease are found, they should be made available to patients, without a physician intermediary. "Today, there is hardly a patient between the ages of 15 and 70 who goes to see a physician for a new condition without having downloaded from the internet large amount of information on their condition," they write, adding that "a man who knows the risk he has of developing a disease is more likely to seek help to mitigate the risk."

Conversely, Ransohoff and Khoury say that information can be harmful and that benefits and harms of genomic information need to be weighed. "In the real world of clinical medicine and prevention, there is ample evidence and experience that information and action can be harmful," they write. "In the field of personal genomics, we need to understand, learn from, and build on those lessons, to best protect and improve the public's health."

HT: Genomeboy

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.