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An 'Obsolete, Paternalistic Vision'

The American Medical Association has written a letter to FDA ahead of the regulatory body's meeting on DTC genetic testing next month, asking that the panel recommend that genetic testing be used "under the most limited circumstances," and under the "supervision" of a licensed medical professional. "In other words," says Daniel MacArthur at Genetic Future blog, "the AMA is seeking to maintain its members’ traditional monopoly over the interpretation of genetic information — and they expect regulators to act as their enforcers, beating down the upstart DTC genomics companies who have wandered onto their sacred turf." This kind of thinking is "absurd," MacArthur adds. Instead of asking regulators to make rules about who should have access to genetic testing, doctors need to convince the public that they add something to the conversation about genomic information, and right now, it's not clear that they do add something. "The 'doctor as universal gatekeeper of health information' model has to die, no matter how desperately the AMA and its proxies try to keep this obsolete, paternalistic vision alive," MacArthur says.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.