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Born Sick

A time when everyone may have his or her genome sequence is increasingly possible, but may it may tell people more than they want to know, Kevin Loria writes at Tech Insider. In particular, he says, people may learn at a young age that they are at risk for a disease such as Alzheimer's, and there's nothing that can be done.

"There would be a high likelihood of identifying many ticking time-bombs or risks that we would still have no way of addressing," he says. "That could mean living an entire life knowing that you are, in a way, 'sick.'"

Currently, Loria says that sequencing has been a boon for treating cancer patients and for diagnosing people with mysterious genetic diseases, and adds that new personalized medicine initiatives will uncover more about the genetics behind disease.

"But we'll have to make a decision about how much screening we want, and whether we want to know — potentially from birth — what illnesses and conditions lie in wait, even ones that we don't know how to cure," he says.

The Scan

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.

New Oral Nanomedicine Strategy Targets Gut-Brain Axis to Treat IBD

A new paper in Science Advances describes a platform to design polyphenol-armored oral medicines that are effective at treating inflammatory bowel disease.

Phylogenetic Data Enables New Floristic Map

Researchers in Nature Communications use angiosperm phylogenetic data to refine the floristic regions of the world.

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.