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For Privacy's Sake

More US states are enacting genetic privacy laws, Wired reports, noting that California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a Genetic Information Privacy Act into law earlier this month.

These laws, Wired notes, aim to bridge the gap between the medical data that is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — such as results from tests that are ordered by physicians — and genetic data that someone might receive from a direct-to-consumer genetic test that still may include sensitive information. The California law, for instance, limits what data DTC genetic testing companies can collect, it says, adding that it also requires that consumers provide consent to be part of any related research efforts or have their data shared and that there must be a way to opt out.

States like Utah and Arizona have also passed genetic privacy laws this year, Wired adds. Florida, meanwhile, passed a genetic privacy law in 2020 and this year passed a law to make unauthorized DNA analysis a felony. Meanwhile, Maryland and Montana have passed laws limiting the use of genetic genealogy by law enforcement officials.

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.