Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Metabolite Trail

People leave a trail of metabolites behind them and researchers are increasingly able to identify them, the Economist writes, adding that these metabolites could be used to uncover personal information about people.

It notes that only recently have researchers been able to sample metabolites from more sources than blood or urine — they can now analyze sweat, saliva, and dental plaque — and databases for identifying metabolites based on their GC/MS profiles have improved. Such data, the Economist says, could reveal a lot about people: how much they exercise, what they eat, or if they take any drugs or medications.

While there are protections in the US barring employers or health insurers from using genetic information, the Economist notes there are no such protections for metabolic data and, further, that others like law enforcement could be interested in what such tests might reveal. 

"The day is coming soon," the University of Oklahoma's Cecil Lewis tells it, "when it will be possible to swab a person's desk, steering wheel, or phone and determine a wide range of incredibly private things about them."

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more