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Vermont Weighs Genetic Discrimination Bill

State legislators in Vermont are considering a bill that would bar health and life insurance companies from denying customers coverage based on genetic information, according to VT Digger.

It adds that the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, signed in 2008 by President George Bush, and other federal laws like the Affordable Care Act already offer some protection against denying health coverage based on genetic information, but that the Vermont bill under consideration — S.247 — would extend that to life insurance as well.

"We won't know the answer to a lot of the implications of our genes for many years, but right now, it's important to allow for people to use and have their genetic information looked at with their healthcare providers without discrimination," State Senator Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden), who is co-sponsoring the bill, tells VT Digger.

Other states have also passed additional state-level protections. Florida, for instance, passed a law in 2020 that prohibits life, long-term care, and disability insurers from using genetic information in coverage decisions.

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.