NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – US Senators are urging the Obama Administration to release draft guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration covering the regulation of laboratory-developed tests.

Last week in a letter to Brian Deese, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, five Senate Democrats called for "prompt action in releasing draft guidelines" on LDTs "to ensure appropriate and efficient oversight of diagnostic tools can move forward in an open and transparent manner."

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.