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To the Right Patients...

Health insurance giant Aetna is funding a study of whether women who should be offered genetic screening tests for breast and ovarian cancer risk are indeed being offered the tests, reports the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog. The blog points out that a 2005 JAMA study found racial disparities in the use of the test — the JAMA article says that differences "do not appear to be explained by differences in risk factors for carrying a BRCA1/2 mutation, socioeconomic factors, risk perception, attitudes, or primary care physician recommendations."
Aetna Foundation President Ann Beal noted in a statement that "there is valid concern that some women are receiving this test unnecessarily, while others, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities, as well as poorer women, should be receiving these critical tests and are not." According to our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News, Georgetown University, the University of South Florida, and the American Cancer Society will sort through de-identified data from about 13,000 Aetna members who receive BRCA testing and then will study the risk-reduction and screening services patients use after being tested.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.