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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

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.