NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Sequenom said this week that its wholly owned subsidiary Sequenom Laboratories signed a national agreement with an unnamed insurance company for coverage of the MaterniT21 Plus non-invasive prenatal test. It is the third national coverage deal signed by Sequenom for the test. The insurer covers 13 million lives in the US and brings the total number of covered lives under agreement by the laboratory's diagnostic services to more than 140 million lives, Sequenom said.

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In PLOS this week: locus linked to non-syndromic hearing loss, phylogenetic relationships of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, and more.

In a column at Nature, researcher Fyodor Kondrashov worries about the influence of politics on Russian science.

The term 'epigenetics' is being used by quacks to give them a veneer of science, writes Adam Rutherford at the Observer.

The NIH has issued a preliminary guidance for newborn dried blood spot research.