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Not What It's For

The European Society of Human Genetics is condemning the use of genetic testing to establish "ethnic purity," as was suggested by a member of the Hungarian far-right Jobbik party. In a press release, ESHG says that Hungarian genetic testing company Nagy Gén scanned 18 positions in a member of parliament's genome for variants that are supposedly characteristic of Roma and Jewish origins to prove that he does not have Roma or Jewish roots. "The use of genetic testing to establish racial origins for political purposes is not only scientifically foolish, but also unethical and should be condemned," ESHG says, calling the testing "ethically unacceptable." ESHG President Joerg Schmidtke called the situation a "gross distortion of the values of genetic testing" and condemned the use of the technology to "promote hatred" rather than help the sick. Béla Melegh, president of the Hungarian Society of Human Genetics, added that the society was "shocked" to hear that any lab was willing to do the testing, and has asked the Hungarian government to prosecute the company under a 2008 law meant to protect against the abuse of genetic testing.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.