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Push for More Women in Million Veteran Program

The Million Veteran Program is seeking more female participants, Military Times reports.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs launched the program in 2011 with the aim of developing a database of genetic information coupled with survey and health record information to power studies of conditions common among veterans as well as chronic and other conditions found among all Americans. Since then, data from the Million Veteran Program has been used in studies of peripheral artery disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, among others.

But, as the Military Times reports, the cohort skews male. Of the 840,000 veteran participants, it says only 75,000 are female. It notes that the participation rate in the program is similar between male and female veterans, but that women only make up about 10 percent of the veteran population, a portion that is expected to increase to more than 18 percent in 20 years.

As large numbers are needed for genetic studies, the Military Times says the VA is working to boost the number of female veterans in the program.

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.