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Things to Come

The next few years may see a number of changes to medicine, but Francis Collins, the director of the US National Institutes of Health, is most excited about the prospect of people being able to have their genomes sequenced at a reasonable cost to inform and tailor their medical care, as he tells USA Today's Brian Gallagher.

"The idea, though, is to get away from one-size-fits-all medicine to something more precise," Collins says. Cancer patients in particular, he adds, may benefit from genomic analysis of their tumors to identify targeted therapies to treat their condition.

Widespread personal genome sequencing is still, he notes, a few years away. Currently, exactly what information from them will be most useful to keep people healthy isn't fully known, but it's time to prepare patients and physicians for that eventuality, Collins says.

Collins also tells Gallagher that with declining purchasing power at NIH, it has had to turn away thousands of grants — he notes that someone's chances of getting a grant application funded is about one in six.

The Scan

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A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.

Topical Compound to Block EGFR Inhibitors May Ease Skin Toxicities, Study Finds

A topical treatment described in Science Translational Medicine may limit skin toxicities seen with EGFR inhibitor therapy.

Dozen Genetic Loci Linked to Preeclampsia Risk in New GWAS

An analysis of genome-wide association study data in JAMA Cardiology finds genetic loci linked to preeclampsia that have ties to blood pressure.

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.