New York Times: DNA Linked to Covid-19 Was Inherited From Neanderthals, Study Finds

New York Times: DNA Linked to Covid-19 Was Inherited From Neanderthals, Study Finds. “A stretch of DNA linked to Covid-19 was passed down from Neanderthals 60,000 years ago, according to a new study. Scientists don’t yet know why this particular segment increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But the new findings, which were posted online on Friday and have not yet been published in a scientific journal, show how some clues to modern health stem from ancient history.”

BetaNews: Ancestry. com announces COVID-19 (coronavirus) testing

BetaNews: Ancestry.com announces COVID-19 (coronavirus) testing. “With the current pandemic continuing to grow in some areas, and unemployment rising even faster than food prices, we need problem solvers. Help at this time comes mostly from doctors and scientists, but can also come from other surprising areas. If you’ve recently taken an AncestryDNA test, Ancestry.com is inviting you to supply some information that could assist in the fight against COVID-19.”

Hartford Courant: Most New York coronavirus cases came from Europe, genomes show

Hartford Courant: Most New York coronavirus cases came from Europe, genomes show. “New research indicates that the coronavirus began to circulate in the New York area by mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case, and that travelers brought in the virus mainly from Europe, not Asia. ‘The majority is clearly European,’ said Harm van Bakel, a geneticist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who co-wrote a study awaiting peer review.”

South China Morning Post: Researchers target bat genes in quest for drug to combat Covid-19

South China Morning Post: Researchers target bat genes in quest for drug to combat Covid-19. “A multinational research team has identified a gene inhibitor in bats that could have potential in the search for antiviral drugs to treat the pandemic disease Covid-19. In a research paper published online on Monday, scientists from China, Singapore and the United States said carolacton, which inhibits a specific bat gene, could help suppress the infection of Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.”

Phys .org: How to quickly and efficiently identify huge gene data sets to help coronavirus research

Phys .org: How to quickly and efficiently identify huge gene data sets to help coronavirus research. “Thanks to the advancement of sequencing technology, it’s possible to produce massive amounts of genome sequence data on various species. It’s crucial to examine pan-genomic data—the entire set of genes possessed by all members of a particular species—particularly in areas like bacteria and virus research, investigation of drug resistance mechanisms and vaccine development. For example, why is the coronavirus resistant to common drugs? Can big data help to rapidly identify the characteristics of such novel virus strains? A group of researchers supported by the EU-funded PANGAIA project is now tackling this challenge by developing methods for comparing gigantic gene data sets.”

News-Medical Net: CRG launches new database to advance international research efforts on COVID-19

News-Medical Net: CRG launches new database to advance international research efforts on COVID-19. “Researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) have launched a new database to advance the international research efforts studying COVID-19. The publicly-available, free-to-use resource (https://covid.crg.eu) can be used by researchers from around the world to study how different variations of the virus grow, mutate and make proteins.”

BetaKit: DNAstack Launches New Tool To Help Scientists Share Genomic Data On Covid-19

BetaKit: DNAstack Launches New Tool To Help Scientists Share Genomic Data On Covid-19. “DNAstack has launched a new tool for scientific and medical communities to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The tool, which is being called the COVID-19 Beacon, is available on DNAstack’s website.”

Policy Options: Indigenous DNA database should be managed by its people

Policy Options: Indigenous DNA database should be managed by its people. “There is no denying the value of DNA as an investigational tool. However, that value should be considered in the context of the relationship between Indigenous people and the Canadian government. Given the tenuous past and present relationship between Canada’s Indigenous population and the Canadian state, who controls the ‘genetic identifiers’ of Indigenous people and for what purpose should raise questions. It is time for Indigenous people to have greater control over their genetic information and how it is used.”

EurekAlert: Anonymous no more: combining genetics with genealogy to identify the dead in unmarked graves

EurekAlert: Anonymous no more: combining genetics with genealogy to identify the dead in unmarked graves. “In Quebec, gravestones did not come into common use until the second half of the 19th century, so historical cemeteries contain many unmarked graves. Inspired by colleagues at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University, a team of researchers in genetics, archaeology and demography from three Quebec universities (Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières) conducted a study in which they combined genealogical information from BALSAC (a Quebec database that is the only one of its kind in the world) with genetic information from more than 960 modern Quebecers in order to access the genetic profile of Quebec’s historical population. The results, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggest the capabilities that this method may offer in the near future.”

TechCrunch: California Senator proposes tighter regulations on direct-to-consumer genetics testing companies

TechCrunch: California Senator proposes tighter regulations on direct-to-consumer genetics testing companies. “A state senator in California is introducing legislation designed to provide more oversight over direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies. The new regulations, introduced by Santa Ana’s Democratic Senator Thomas Umberg, builds on attempts in the California Consumer Privacy Act to regulate the ways data collected from genetic testing can be used by companies.”

EurekAlert: DNA extracted in museum samples can reveal genetic secrets

EurekAlert: DNA extracted in museum samples can reveal genetic secrets. “Researchers have used a vortex fluidic device (VFD) to speed up DNA extraction from an American lobster preserved in formaldehyde – with the results providing a roadmap for exploring DNA from millions of valuable and even extinct species in museums worldwide.”

US National Library of Medicine: Get Rapid Access to Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Sequence Data from NLM’s GenBank®

US National Library of Medicine: Get Rapid Access to Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Sequence Data from NLM’s GenBank®. “NLM, through its GenBank® sequence database, is providing the biomedical community free and easy access to genome sequences from the novel coronavirus associated with the recent outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The outbreak was declared a global health emergency on January 30, 2020 and GenBank® continues to rapidly release data associated with this outbreak as it comes in and welcomes sequence data submissions as well. “

Medical Xpress: Hundreds of UCLA students publish encyclopedia of 1,000 genes linked to organ development

Medical Xpress: Hundreds of UCLA students publish encyclopedia of 1,000 genes linked to organ development. “A team of 245 UCLA undergraduates and 31 high school students has published an encyclopedia of more than 1,000 genes, including 421 genes whose functions were previously unknown. The research was conducted in fruit flies, and the genes the researchers describe in the analysis may be associated with the development of the brain, eye, lymph gland and wings.” Loved the soccer analogy.

News Medical: Genome reference database can help predict disease-linked gene variants more accurately

News Medical: Genome reference database can help predict disease-linked gene variants more accurately. “Most diseases have a genetic component. To better understand disease, researchers led by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research are analysing genetic information to determine what keeps us healthy. In a world first, the team has compiled a genome reference database of thousands of healthy older Australians, which has the potential to predict disease-linked gene variants more accurately than has been previously possible.”

EurekAlert: New open-source software judges accuracy of computer predictions of cancer genetics

EurekAlert: New open-source software judges accuracy of computer predictions of cancer genetics. “Because simple clinical methods to test for genetic variation are vulnerable to missing a lot of cell-to-cell variability, recent computer tools have been developed to predict and characterise genetic diversity within clinical tumour samples. However, there is no existing common benchmarking approach to determine the most accurate computational methods. The study, published in Nature Biotechnology, developed open-source software that can be used to judge the accuracy of computer predictions and establish this benchmark.”