Weekend Reads British science after Brexit — can they have their cake and eat it, too? And genetic counsellors, are they actually struggling to keep up with genetic testing?


After Brexit, Can British Science Have Its Cake and Eat It, Too? 

The United Kingdom wants a part in European science programmes after Brexit, but the European Union could put a high price on it.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the United Kingdom wants to take part in the next EU research-funding programme, set to be worth almost €100 billion (US$116 billion). Days later a government document released on 23 May provided the most specific details so far about the country’s hopes for a European science deal.

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Nearly two years after Britons voted to leave the European Union, Brexit’s impact on European science is finally coming into focus. (Photo: Pixabay)

Meanwhile, the European Commission is expected soon to issue rules for international participation in the framework programme, called Horizon Europe, which might apply to the United Kingdom. Nature examines what these developments mean for UK and EU science after Brexit. Read Full Story →


Can Genetic Counsellors Keep Up With 23andMe? 

The rise of spit kits is leaving consumers with lots of data and few answers. Genetic counsellors could help people understand these results, but there aren’t enough of them to go around. 

Access to genetic counsellors is often portrayed as a single-issue topic workforce. Sarah Richards, writing for The Atlantic, dives deeper into payer recognition, service delivery, salaries, and more. Featuring interviews with Cathy Wicklund, Erica Ramos, Kelly Ormond, Scott Weisman, Taylor Berninger, and Stephanie Gandomi. Read Full Story →


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23andMe Testing Kit. (Photo: Frances Shaw)


Stem Cell Bank Opens With Backing From Leading Scientists. Is it Worth the Money? 

The company’s roster of scientific advisers amounts to a who’s who of prominent stem cell experts, leading figures from Harvard and Stanford who are at the forefront of a field trying to turn basic discoveries into medical treatments of the future.

But instead of trying to develop new therapies itself, the company, LifeVault Bio, intends to store customers’ cells like treasured items in a well-sealed time capsule. The hope is that by preserving pristine cells before ageing takes a toll on them, the cells could be used to treat customers should they one day develop heart disease or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Is it worth the money? Andrew Joseph, writing for STAT News, explores. Read Full Story →


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