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And Now Serology Tests

Cellex this week became the first lab to receive Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for a coronavirus serology test, as 360Dx reports

The test, dubbed qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test, is an immunoassay that detects IgG and IgM in blood serum, plasma, or whole blood samples, it adds. As 360Dx notes, FDA has said that serology tests that don't intend to diagnose disease don't have to notify the agency or seek an EUA prior to marketing in the US, but that tests to diagnose disease do.

Such antibody-based tests could potentially tell whether someone has had a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Verge adds, saying that they could be used to gauge the portion of the population that was infected with SARS-CoV-2 and possibly determine who may be immune and could venture back out into the world. It notes, though, that this sort of tests may not be as good at identifying ongoing infections.

But as the Los Angeles Times reports, the US doesn't have a plan in place for broad serology testing, unlike Germany and the UK. It says that a cohesive effort will be needed so that data from testing could be used to inform plans to resume life-as-usual.

"You have to have a national database," Peter Beilenson, county health officer for Sacramento, tells the LA Times. "It's protecting the population. Whether it's against war or viruses, that's their role."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.