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No, No, You Have it All Wrong

In light of the ACLU versus Myriad Genetics case, David Ewing Duncan at Tech Review asks the age-old question: "Should human DNA be owned?" In the US, Duncan says that an individual's BRCA1 gene cannot be patented, but that Myriad could patent a mutated gene sequence associated with breast cancer. Then, patients' genes could be compared to the patented sequence -- that is what the ACLU and other plaintiffs say is a mistake. Duncan says the complaint is beside the point. "The dustup about to unfold in the ACLU vs. Myriad case misses the real issue, which is how to best push forward and clinically validate the thousands of biomarkers now languishing in databases," he writes.

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.