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Swan Song


Legend has it that the mute swan — a white swan found mainly in Europe and Asia, though it has been introduced into the Americas — is silent all its life. Then, just as it is about to die, it sings the most beautiful song.

It's just a legend, though. Mute swans actually make a soft snorting sound — it's not unpleasant, but neither is it particularly pretty. But the notion of its deathbed song has taken hold as a metaphor for a last act before the end.

Here, I present to you Genome Technology's swan song, its last act before the end. After 12 years, Genome Technology will cease monthly print publication with this issue. It was a difficult and fraught, yet ultimately necessary, decision to say that this is the end of the line.

It goes out, though, facing the future, with profiles of two dozen up-and-coming investigators intent on making their mark on the life sciences community in fields as varied as clinical cancer sequencing and gene splicing and public health genomics. Their best days are likely ahead.

Like the legend of the swan song isn't true, this issue won't truly be the end of GT. Its content will live on, incorporated into the coverage found at There, readers will still be able to enjoy GT-style features — including the popular salary survey and, yes, future incarnations of the up-and-coming investigators — and other coverage of the field. Our subscriptions team will be in touch with you soon to help you ensure that you continue to have access to such content. If you're not already registered at, I encourage you to do so.

Lastly, let me say that it has been a real pleasure speaking and interacting with the systems biology and genomics research community. These are exciting times to be in — or to be writing about — this field of biology. Change is coming, and sometimes it is difficult, but it is always necessary. I look forward to continuing to cover the field and its challenges, though in a slightly different format.

Without further ado, here is our song. Let us hope that this last act is a beautiful one, or at least one with some sort of snorting sounds.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.