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NIH Wants to Hear About Genetic Tests

Kathy Hudson has been worrying about the quality of genetic tests for years, and now—after becoming chief of staff to National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins—she's doing something about it.

More than 1600 genetic tests are on the market, and there aren't enough regulations to ensure that they're scientifically sound. To make things easier on consumers, and help scientists keep track, NIH is launching a new online registry that asks gene testing companies to volunteer information on studies they've conducted on their products. "Finally, there's action," Hudson said in an interview with ScienceInsider.

The Genetic Testing Registry will be run by the National Library of Medicine. A big advantage of this is that information on specific tests can be linked to other library resources, such as images of a DNA variant's location in the genome, or papers published on a particular disease susceptibility marker. The result, Hudson hopes, will "be a wonderfully rich resource for physicians and patients and researchers."

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