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Oh, the Expectations

At Newsweek's Human Condition blog, Mary Carmichael delves into the business of genetics. She notes that a new paper in Nature Genetics on a gene mutation that increases bladder cancer risk is from researchers at Decode Genetics, which she notes has had a tough time of late with bankruptcy, a New England Journal of Medicine article calling the utility of one of its tests into question, and the New York Times pointing out that DecodeMe had fewer than 10,000 customers. Plus, she adds, the recent Myriad patent ruling may affect throws Decode's own patents. "It's tempting to read the last few weeks (and Decode's entire history) as evidence that genetics makes for great basic science and lousy business models, given how many technical and legal roadblocks a company can run into in the course of doing good research," she writes, though later adds that "maybe biotech investors — and the rest of us who bought into the hype that genetics would cure all our ills within a decade or so — just need to lower their expectations and stop demanding major progress on a timeline that's too short for science."

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.