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Public Good Genomics

Genomics is moving beyond single-gene disorders into the realm of infectious and non-infectious diseases to improve public health, writes Jane Parry at The Guardian Professional. "Genomics is absolutely changing the way we deal with public health issues and as the technology involves gets a lot cheaper, there will be a massive shift in diagnostics towards molecular technology," Hilary Burton, the director of PHG Foundation, tells Parry.

One disease where genomics has made headway, Parry adds, is in type 2 diabetes. Researchers are searching for genetic markers for the disease that are applicable to different ethnic populations. Further, a team in Hong Kong has uncovered four markers associated with increased risk of renal disease in diabetes patients, and it is now developing a panel to stratify diabetes patients based on the risk markers they have, she writes.

Parry notes, though, that public health genomic efforts also raise ethical questions, such as what to do with incidental findings and confidentiality concerns as well as how to implement it in low-income countries.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.