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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.