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Into the Personal Genomics Fray

Counsyl, a Stanford University start-up, has announced its Universal Genetic Test that allows prospective parents to determine whether their child would be at risk for more than 100 genetic diseases. The company’s press release says that the test “is free with insurance for more than 100 million Americans” and “is now offered by physicians at more than 100 prestigious medical centers.” At Genetic Future, Daniel MacArthur, who has used a free kit from Counsyl, says he is intrigued by its approach, especially that it is covered by some insurance companies and that it will likely face question about the ethics of screening for carriers. “Counsyl's offering is intensely focused: the goal is simply to pick up as many known serious disease-associated mutations as possible,” he writes.

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.