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Personal Genomics on the Upswing

Harvard's Steven Pinker has an article in the New York Times Magazine describing his experience having his genome sequenced as one of the first 10 volunteers in George Church's Personal Genome Project. It's also a springboard to discuss the new era of consumer genomics, about which he says, "Like the early days of the Internet, the dawn of personal genomics promises benefits and pitfalls that no one can foresee." (He does, in fact, attempt to foresee some of these pitfalls.) "For better or for worse, people will want to know about their genomes," Pinker writes.

And speaking of getting genomics out to the masses, Bertalan Meskó has a post at ScienceRoll about AccessDNA, a website that prompts users to enter information about their medical history, environmental factors, and more to generate a personalized genetic report. In the report, Meskó says, was "a list of genetic tests that might be useful for me." He's not convinced of the value of the service, and asks others to weigh in.

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.