TS Picks: February 24, 2016

High-profile stem cell research scandal; forthcoming direct-to-consumer genetics apps; GINA and life insurance

By | February 24, 2016

Human embryonic stem cellsWIKIMEDIA, NISSIM BENVENISTY

Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • “As an outsider—young, female, and not an established stem-cell biologist—[Haruko] Obokata, the newspapers argued, was unhindered by conventional notions of what cells can and cannot do. Her fresh perspective, coupled with dogged work and natural genius, had conspired to create one of the great scientific breakthroughs of the twenty-first century.” —The New Yorker on STAP and stem cell research
  • MIT Technology Review this month named direct-to-consumer genetics apps, such as Helix’s forthcoming product, one of the top 10 breakthroughs of the year. (CRISPR and genetically engineered immune cells also made Tech Review’s 2016 list.)
  • While the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) protects people from discrimination based on their genetics by employers and health insurers, its reach may be limited. Fast Company spoke with a woman who was reportedly denied life-insurance coverage because she carries the cancer-associated BRCA1 mutation and has a family history of the disease.


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