Will Genome Sequencing Make Us Smarter About Dealing With Diseases in Our Genes—Or Just More Anxious?

There was a time when parents of newborns were perfectly content to know only a few basic things about their babies: their height, their weight, their apgar score, and which side of the family should get the credit for making the kid so adorable. But a graduate student at the University of California, Davis named Razib Khan wanted to know…

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If Your Doctor Could Tell You That You'll Get Breast Cancer, Would You Want to Know?

Counsyl, a Silicon Valley company that screens prospective parents for their risk of passing on rare inherited diseases, has expanded its genetic testing service to assess your inherited risks for breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.  The expanded testing, which arrived on the heels of $28 million in new funding raised from Goldman Sachs and others, comes in the midst…

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Genes Without Patents.

As Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan questioned Myriad Genetics’ attorney about patenting genes, Chris Hansen rejoiced. The attorney said that yes, genes should be patentable. But it was only under the pressure of further questions that he said that chromosomes, too, should be patentable, and — more reluctantly still — organs such as kidneys. “It was all I could do…

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Researchers to Explore Promise, Risks of Sequencing Newborns' DNA

U.S. geneticists last week began examining the promise and risks of sequencing every newborn’s genome. DNA sequencing could improve the accuracy of state newborn screening programs that test babies’ blood for biochemical markers for several dozen rare disorders. And genome testing could potentially look for all 7000 or so diseases caused by defects in single genes. But newborn genome testing…

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