Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Point of the Program

Some scientists have questioned the design of a UK newborn sequencing program, the Guardian reports. They say, it adds, that the program's focus appears to be on generating a valuable dataset instead of on helping diagnose rare disease.

Matt Hancock, the former health secretary, first mentioned plans to conduct widespread newborn sequencing in 2019, saying at the time that it would bring in "predictive, preventative, personalized healthcare," as Wired reports.

Wired adds that Genomics England has recently received funding for a pilot of the Newborn Genomes Programme, which would include between 100,000 and 200,000 infants. It adds that the program, which will be integrated into the National Health Service, is to focus on identifying actionable genetic conditions, particularly childhood-onset ones. De-identified data from the program will also be added to the UK's National Genomic Research Library, it adds.

However, the University of Oxford's Anneke Lucassen tells the Guardian that if the program's focus was on identifying rare diseases, there are easier and cheaper ways of doing so. She adds that she's not opposed to the program but says that it appears instead to be focused on building the UK genomics industry and a research resource and that that should be clear to the public.

The Scan

Omicron's Sewage Path

The New York Times writes that testing sewage is helping public health officials track Omicron.

IBM Sells Part of Watson Health

The Wall Street Journal reports IBM is selling part of its Watson Health business to an investment firm.

Identifying the Right Whales

The Boston Globe writes that genetic testing has helped identify North American right whales and find that weaning can take place earlier than thought.

Science Papers on Approach to Quickly Sort Single Cells, Alternative Splicing in Cancer

In Science this week: high-speed sorting of single cells using fluorescence imaging, and more.