In Science this week, researchers from a variety of institutions weigh in on the American College of Medical Genetics' recent recommendation that all labs conducting DNA sequencing to identify disease-associated genes also report mutations in 57 genes unrelated to a patient's condition and report the findings back to the patient unsolicited. In a policy forum, one group of scientists supports the recommendation, stating that labs have an obligation to report clinically important information. In a separate policy forum, a group of researchers argues against the recommendation because a patient would have no option to decline the information and because such an analysis would represent a violation of patient rights.
GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this here.
Also in Science, researchers from University College London and the MRC National Institute of Medical Research offer their perspective on the presence of retroviral DNA in the genomes of humans and other vertebrates, saying that even though some of these endogenous retroviruses are defective, others can re-emerge and affect their hosts. Efforts to identify endogenous retroviruses that "play interesting biological roles will continue to be of great importance," the researchers say.