Family Tree DNA

Lawmakers have asked four direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies to explain their privacy policies and security measures, according to Stat News.

American customers' interest in their genetic ancestry continues to be the primary driver of the consumer genomics market and shows no signs of diminishing. 

With the rollout of Insitome's first app, consumers have the chance to explore their heritage in a new context that could reshape the ancestry testing market.

Parent firm Gene by Gene calls the law "brief and vague" and is pushing for ancestry testing to be exempt from the provision of the genetic privacy statute.

Researchers found that direct-to-consumer genetic testing customers' primary motivation to share their genomic data was not to gain health specific knowledge.

The company has developed a suite of initial products focused on ancestry that will compete with offerings from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA.

Living DNA can break down the origins of a customer’s ancestry into 21 distinct regions within Britain alone, as well as across 80 different worldwide populations.

As the number of people genotyped looks set to pass 3 million this year, third-party tools providers have worked to improve usability, add features, and upgrade their servers for scalability.

The site, introduced at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting last week, supports genotyping data generated by 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FamilyTreeDNA.

The availability of consumer genomics services has also made it possible for adoptees to bypass state adoption laws, many of which restrict access to their records.

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.