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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

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.