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Clinical Standards Needed

The Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research's Gholson Lyon was busy in 2009, trying to identify the genetic causes behind a rare disease affecting baby boys in a family in Ogden, Utah. But, as he says in a Nature commentary, this week, he was hesitant to tell the family what he found because the research he did didn't follow the protocols required for validated clinical testing, and he wasn't sure the individual results were accurate.

The expansion of genomics into medicine is showing that it's time for researchers to "create a formalized protocol akin to the rigorous process that doctors and other health-care workers go through during any clinical lab test, which practically eliminates the chances of mistakes and mix-ups," Lyon says. "In this way, when participants want to know what we know, we will feel confident that what we tell them is correct." Scientists conducting human genetics research are not under CLIA regulations, he adds, but perhaps there should be a similar standard for researchers. "This means establishing suitable guidelines for the collection, tracking and sequencing of DNA samples from human participants, along with training health-care professionals in genetics counseling," Lyon writes.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.