This Week in PLoS

Jan Felix Drexler and his colleagues report that the 3'-X-tail element of the hepatitis C virus is highly conserved. By de novo sequencing, they characterized the tail and then they developed a prototype RT-PCR assay test to determine if this region could be used as a diagnostic target. The authors say the test was robust against genotype variation and precise in determining virus quantification.

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Direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies have offered to test families separated at the southern US border, but that raises ethical issues.

CNBC reports that confirming a positive result from 23andMe's BRCA health report can be expensive.

The New York Times reports on a project to develop a tree DNA database to uncover illegal logging.

In PLOS this week: links between gut microbiome and colorectal cancer mutations, targeted sequencing uncovers genetic susceptibilities to epilepsy in Koreans, and more.