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Gene Patents, Again

A US Senate panel is considering legislation that would expand the array of subject matter that is eligible to be patented.

A draft bill provides for a major expansion of eligible material, a move the ACLU and AMP said threatens to reduce competition in genetic testing.

The discussion draft includes the regulatory proposals, including precertification, the FDA provided to legislators in a technical assistance document.

The National Society of Genetic Counselors has garnered bipartisan support for H.R. 7083 by emphasizing healthcare savings from using counselors to drive appropriate test use.

H.R. 7083, developed in collaboration with the National Society of Genetic Counselors, seeks to improve Medicare payment for genetic counselors.

The bipartisan bill passed both the House and Senate by large margins and increases the NIH's budget by 5.4 percent over its fiscal 2018 funding level.

Seventeen organizations don't support the Diagnostic Accuracy and Innovation Act as written and would like lawmakers to advance a CLIA-centric framework.


The Canadian government is asking for the constitutionality of the country's new anti-genetic discrimination law to be assessed, Bloomberg BNA reports.

ACLA said the goal of the delay is to redefine "applicable laboratories" and give labs and CMS more time to collect data that will inform market-based pricing.

The US House of Representatives has passed the latest version of the 21st Century Cures Act.

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US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins says he will avoid male-only speaker panels.

Two patients fell ill, and one subsequently died, following a fecal microbiome transplant that harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria, according to the New York Times.

Technology Review reports that eGenesis is testing whether organs from genetically modified pigs can be transplanted into monkeys.

In Science this week: almond reference genome, and more.