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Shhhh … It's a Secret

KFC at The Physics arXiv Blog says that, as genome sequencing becomes less expensive, many people in the developed world will be able to afford it, and the benefits of genome sequencing for patients are already apparent. But there are concerns about how to keep that information private, just like there are over any other medical record. Several groups are developing ways to ensure privacy, but a new study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, shows that several cryptographic methods are suited to serve the purpose, KFC says. "The basic idea is to use standard encryption techniques to ensure that only those with the required key can see the data or the results of any computation. This can guarantee privacy against all but the most determined and well-resourced attacks," KFC says. While this is all fairly standard, it's the first time anyone has tried it with genomic data. But the UC Irvine group says it can be done — and fairly quickly, depending on how much data there is to encrypt — KFC adds.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.