NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Veracyte announced yesterday that its Afirma Gene Expression Classifier has received positive policy coverage decisions by Health Care Service Corporation, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and New York's Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

The Afirma GEC employs a 142-gene signature to identify benign thyroid nodules in patients whose fine needle aspiration biopsies are deemed indeterminate following traditional cytopathology review and thus face a potentially unnecessary diagnostic surgery.

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Researchers are refining a tool to predict a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, according to the Guardian.

According to Stat News, the partial government shutdown in the US could soon affect the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to review new drugs.

In PNAS this week: gypsy moth genome sequenced, phylogenomic analysis of Polyneopterans, and more.

CNN reports that people's genes tend to have a greater influence on their risk of developing disease than their environment, but it varies by phenotype.