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The Very Old, Very Young, and Very Talented

The whole-genome sequencing startup Veritas is seeking to sequence individuals with extraordinary skills as well as those who have lived to a ripe old age, reports CNBC.

The firm, which spun out of Harvard Medical School, launched its $999 myGenome service in 2016. As GenomeWeb reported at the time, co-founder George Church said that that price point might make whole-genome sequencing more widely attractive.

CNBC says that, in addition to offering those services, Veritas is conducting research into extreme cases — individuals who can memorize stacks of information quickly or free-dive hundreds of feet. The company is also interested in people who have lived to beyond a hundred years of age. In that way, Veritas' Preston Estep tells CNBC, they might be able to tease out why they lived so long — he suspects it's a mix of genetic and environmental factors.

"I think studying these extreme cases is a really interesting approach," Brigham and Women's Hospital Robert Green, who is a Veritas consultant, tells CNBC. "In some ways, the notion of extremes is so fundamental to what we have learned and ever learned about in medicine."

At the same time, the firm is interested in sequencing infants, it adds.

The Scan

Less Than Half

An effort to reproduce key findings from high-profile preclinical cancer studies finds less than half could be replicated, according to the Scientist.

Still Some SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing Holes

The Wall Street Journal reports that viral genomic surveillance has improved in the US, though says there are still gaps.

Avoiding Passing Them On

People with known disease-linked genetic variants are turning to in vitro fertilization so as to not pass those variants to their children, the Washington Post says.

PNAS Papers on Long Cell-Free DNA in Maternal Plasma, Genetic Propensity for Voting

In PNAS this week: long, cell-free DNA of maternal and fetal origins identified in maternal plasma, and more.