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The ‘Core Next Door’

Just like dating, choosing which core facility to send work to can be rife with clichés, Genomic Repairman says. While each varies according to its service offerings, he says that in general there are five main types of core labs that parallel stereotypes associated with potential dates. For example, there’s the much talked-about “core of ill-repute,” who always asks for more sample, but seldom generates good results, he says. Or there’s always the “high maintenance core,” who “will do the work and … at a reasonable price, but they’re going to make you work for it” — demanding detailed cover sheets on all submittals. On occasion, researchers are lucky enough to find the easy-going “core next door,” Genomic Repairman says. “… This core also understands that your lab is on a budget so they won't order foie grois at dinner. Not only that, you don't have to wait around [for results] forever,” he says. Because — as anyone who has ever been on a date can attest — there’s nothing like “waiting by the phone, waiting for the core to call,” Genomic Repairman says certain facilities can be frustrating. Cores like this “seem to have ability to do what you want them to and are reasonably excited,” he says, but once you send out your samples, you wait. “And wait. And wait. And wait. .... I'm can't sit and wait by the phone for the rest of my life waiting for you to call with my data,” he says. “I’ve got to publish.”

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.