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Shedding Light on a Black Box

FDA announced yesterday that it is creating an internal task force to determine how the agency can become more transparent. According to the Wall Street Journal Health Blog, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg called the FDA a "black box that makes important decisions without explaining them." The New York Times adds that "the task will be complicated. Agency confidentiality decisions are governed by several interconnected laws, including the Federal Trade Secrets Act." The task force will be led by Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.