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Using Advances in DNA Technology to Our Advantage

Thanks to the new healthcare bill – especially the part where insurers aren't allowed to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions – we can all enjoy the new advances in DNA technology instead instead of fearing that they'll be used against us, says the Huffington Post's Philip Neches. As the cost of a complete human genome sequence continues to fall, Neches says this will almost certainly lead to "a dizzying array of new stuff." However, Neches says, all advances have their price – as research advances, we are beginning to realize that many conditions that plague Americans – cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, metabolic disorders – are at least partially caused by our genetics. "What if we could do something about our sub-optimal DNA programming?" Neches says. "Imagine that to our grandchildren, the diseases that ravage us would seem as remote to their experience as smallpox, typhus, and cholera are to us." Our DNA could be considered a beta software program, with researchers releasing "fixes" and "patches" to modify the faulty bits.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.