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Slower Times

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies are grappling with declining sales, possibly due to factors like privacy concerns and the exhaustion of early-adopter customers, CNBC writes.

In January, 23andMe announced that it was laying off about 100 employees, or about 14 percent of its workforce, and earlier this month, Ancestry similarly said it was laying off 100 people, or some 6 percent, of its staff. At the time 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki told CNBC that she was surprised by change in the market and suggested that it could be due to rising privacy concerns. 

Dawn Barry, the president and cofounder of LunaDNA, also tells CNBC that privacy concerns are a likely factor, as people have become more aware of such issues. Another factor, though, is that there are only so many early adopters, David Mittelman, CEO of Othram, adds at CNBC. He says that the next step might be to sway people who are interested in testing but might not think the information provided is worth the cost. 

But Harvard Medical School's Robert Green notes at CNBC that "a slowdown isn't a stoppage."

"Our research is finding that genetics is about to take its rightful place in medical care for the world," he adds.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more