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This Week in Nature: Jan 16, 2014

In this week's Nature, bioethicist Nita Farahany and geneticist Robert Green argue that there is no evidence that consumer genetic testing causes distress, making the US Food and Drug Administration's recent order that direct-to-consumer testing firm 23andMe stop marketing its personal genomics services unwarranted. According to the two, several recent surveys of people undergoing consumer genomics testing shows that the process has caused no real harm and may actually offer benefit. As such, they say that it is inappropriate for FDA to regulate genomic testing as it does medical devices. It is important that companies like 23andMe make information about the accuracy of their tests available, they added, but regulatory constraints on such services could end up doing more harm than good.

Meanwhile, in Nature Communications, a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, BGI-Shenzen, and elsewhere reports on the draft genome sequence of the migratory locust, highlighting genes linked to the insect's ability to travel long distances — namely ones tied to energy metabolism and antioxidative responses. The paper also offers clues on ways to combat this agricultural pest.