Bloomberg: Scientists discover gene that increases risk of dying from Covid – Times of India

Bloomberg: Scientists discover gene that increases risk of dying from Covid – Times of India. “Polish scientists have discovered a gene that they say more than doubles the risk of falling severely ill with, or even dying from Covid-19. The health ministry in Warsaw expects the discovery to help identify people who are most at risk from the disease, which has already killed more than 100,000 people in Poland alone. It also plans to include genetic tests when it screens patients for potential Covid-19 infections as soon as the end of June.”

EMBL: Connecting the dots between bacterial genes around the world

EMBL: Connecting the dots between bacterial genes around the world. “This database, created using publicly available data, contains more than 2 billion genes, 303 million of them dubbed unigenes. A unigene is a DNA sequence that scientists use during data analysis to represent a group of multiple almost-identical gene sequences that come from the same microbial species. These unigenes have been identified from 14 different environments, including human and animal bodies, as well as soil and water from different geographical locations. The resource aims to help the scientific community study various aspects of microbial planetary biology, such as similarities and differences between microbiomes found in distant locations or facing different environmental conditions.”

Nature: Europe’s Roma people are vulnerable to poor practice in genetics

Nature: Europe’s Roma people are vulnerable to poor practice in genetics. “For many samples, either there is no record of consent being obtained from individuals whose DNA was collected, or the procedures used to obtain consent were inadequate. This applies to numerous studies involving Indigenous communities, including Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Native American communities in the United States and the San people in southern Africa. Moreover, people often have little or no say in how their DNA will be used, and rarely benefit from the studies. Now, our analysis of several hundred publications and five databases points to multiple issues with the handling and interpretation of DNA data from Roma people. The Roma are the largest minority group in Europe.”

Cerebral Palsy Alliance: World’s largest genomics database for cerebral palsy launched

Cerebral Palsy Alliance: World’s largest genomics database for cerebral palsy launched. “An international group of researchers has come together to launch CP Commons, a world-first collaborative database to progress understanding of the genome’s role in causing cerebral palsy. The CP Commons is a unique international resource where researchers from around the world will be able to deposit, exchange and access clinical and genomic data.”

New York Times: Timber Poachers Set a Forest on Fire. Tree DNA Sent One to Prison.

New York Times: Timber Poachers Set a Forest on Fire. Tree DNA Sent One to Prison.. “Prosecutors said this was the first time that such evidence had been used in a federal criminal trial, although it has been used in state cases and in federal cases that did not reach trial. Researchers hope this will deter future poaching, particularly of bigleaf maples, for which there is now a large database.”

Phys .org: New database of 660,000 assembled bacterial genomes sheds light on the evolution of bacteria

Phys .org: New database of 660,000 assembled bacterial genomes sheds light on the evolution of bacteria. “In a new study, from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), researchers standardized all bacterial genome data held in the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) before 2019, creating a searchable and accessible database of genomic assemblies. In the research, published on 9 November 2021 in PLOS Biology, researchers reviewed all of the bacterial data available as of November 2018 and assembled it into over 660,000 genomes.”

The Conversation: Old, goopy museum specimens can tell fascinating stories of wildlife history. Finally, we can read them

The Conversation: Old, goopy museum specimens can tell fascinating stories of wildlife history. Finally, we can read them. “In response to the extinction crisis, the call is out to scour Australia’s collections for data to fill knowledge gaps. For many species, however, recovering historical genetic data has been severely impeded, not by a lack of specimens but by the methods used to preserve them. This is where my new research comes in. Our paper shows how natural history collections around the world can squeeze every last drop of historical genetic data out of their specimens, from dried iridescent wings of butterflies to platypus bills floating in alcohol.”

Mississippi State University: MSU faculty member devises automated system to aid museums in collecting genetic data

Mississippi State University: MSU faculty member devises automated system to aid museums in collecting genetic data. “Ryan A. Folk, an assistant professor of biological sciences and herbarium curator at MSU, is using a $432,781 three-year National Science Foundation grant to automate the data collection process by using a combination of unique object identifiers, QR codes and citizen scientists, or non-biologists recruited to help with data acquisition.”

BetaKit: Biobox Analytics Launches Platform To Help Scientists Analyze Genomic Data

BetaKit: Biobox Analytics Launches Platform To Help Scientists Analyze Genomic Data. “Founded in 2019 by a trio of University of Toronto graduate students including [Christopher] Li, Hamza Farooq, and Julian Mazzitelli, BioBox offers a subscription-based data analytics platform for scientists working with next-generation sequencing data. The startup’s platform allows researchers to analyze genomic information.”

Engadget: NVIDIA and Harvard researchers use AI to make genome analysis faster and cheaper

Engadget: NVIDIA and Harvard researchers use AI to make genome analysis faster and cheaper. “Scientists from NVIDIA and Harvard have made a huge breakthrough in genetic research. They developed a deep-learning toolkit that is able to significantly cut down the time and cost needed to run rare and single-cell experiments. According to a study published in Nature Communications, the AtacWorks toolkit can run inference on a whole genome, a process that normally takes a little over two days, in just half an hour. It’s able to do so thanks to NVIDIA’s Tensor Core GPUs.”