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For Those Pesky Last Five

There are a number of new tests entering the marketplace that recommend certain diets to users based on their genetic profiles. "The theory behind the (not inexpensive) offer is that different people are genetically inclined to process calories in different ways and are better off eating and working out using methods that sync with those predisposed metabolisms," reports Whole Living. The article, which appears in the December 2012 issue of the magazine, notes that there are a wide range of companies that offer such tests, from the credible to the not-so-credible.

In addition, the tests, it says, are based on associations and cannot say for sure whether a certain diet will lead an individual to lose weight. "But for people who've plateaued at 5 or 10 pounds over their target weight, tweaking their fats and carbs based on an admittedly imperfect genetic test could w ell provide a breakthrough. And even skeptics agree that the imprimatur of hard science can help people wrestle with the hardest part of a diet — staying on it," Whole Living adds.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.