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Time to Act

A UK government report urges the development of regulations to prevent genomic technologies from being used in ways that cause harm, the Guardian reports.

The Genomics Beyond Health report from the Government Office for Science examined possible future ways in which genomic tools could be applied outside the clinic, such as in employment, education, and sports. Gene-editing tools could, in theory, be used to enhance athletic performance, while genetic testing could help tailor educational interventions for students with learning disabilities. Many of the scenarios the report describes raise ethical and regulatory questions.

"We are still in the infancy of understanding the complexity of genomic data but this is changing very rapidly," Patrick Vallance, the government Chief Scientific Advisor, says in a statement. "Now is the time to consider what might be possible, and what actions government and the public could take to ensure the widespread application of genomics can occur in a way that protects and benefits us all."

The report highlights some areas for policymakers to consider, including overarching regulatory framework for genomic databases in the UK; guidance on when non-health genomic tests should be used and how they should be interpreted; and increased public dialogue regarding current and future uses of genomics.

The Scan

Call for a Different Tack

Experts weigh the value of recent experiments testing genetically modified pig kidneys using brain-dead individuals, according to Nature News.

Wastewater Warning

The New York Times reports that wastewater surveillance in some parts of the US point to a possible surge.

Can't Get in the Program

Due to the Northern Ireland protocol dispute, the European Union is preventing UK researchers from joining the Horizon Europe research program, the Times of London reports.

Science Paper on Spatial-Controlled Genome Editing

In Science this week: approach to enable a CRISPR-Cas13a-based system to be used as a cancer therapy.