5 things to read instead of… thinking about Monday
When I put these round ups together on Friday morning, the weekend feels imminent and Monday morning very far away. To get you in the weekend spirit, here is our usual roundup of news from the world of genomics and science that caught our eye this week.
Found a story that deserves to be here? Let us know! You can find us on most social media as @FLGenomics, or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandra Ossola takes a look at the ongoing discussion about the racial bias observed in genetic databases, and the big implications this could have for the overall health of minorities. “It’s no secret that some disease-causing mutations are more common in people of certain backgrounds,” writes Alexandra. “But the picture gets more complicated for diseases that may not be caused by a single genetic mutation, such as diabetes, cancer, or schizophrenia. Without genetic information from minorities, researchers might miss mutations that are less common in European populations.”
The Wall Street Journal continue their focus on the collapse of biotech company Theranos, looking at the experience of whistleblower Tyler Shultz. After voicing concerns about “troubling practices” within the company, Tyler contacted New York state’s public health lab and “alleged Theranos had manipulated a process known as proficiency testing, relied on by federal and state regulators to monitor the accuracy of lab tests.”
Regenerative medicine hasn’t always received the best coverage in the press, thanks to grim stories about unregulated, unproven therapies being sold at vast expense to desperate people. But, argues Jonathan Gertler over at STAT News, these stories should detract from the very real potential “for individual patients and the national economy.”
WIRED take a look at the climate scientists whose funding may become uncertain under a Trump administration. Trump has previous described climate change as “a hoax”, and has brought a number of prominent climate change skeptics into his new government.
And one from us…
Making genetic testing fast, accurate, and affordable for cancer patients is a key step in realising a future of precision oncology. Now a thousand UK breast and ovarian cancer patients have benefited from a faster BRCA gene testing process, enabling them to get the best management for the disease.