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Are the Bugs Smashed on the Grill the Same?

On his blog, Keith Robison points out a dataset he found in the NCBI Short Read Archive that got him laughing. The study, from Penn State's Anton Nekrutenko, looked into "windshield genomics," or asked these questions:

When I drive through Pennsylvania in June my windshield gets quite dirty with all these bugs. Yet do I know what they are? How many beetles versus butterflies? Is there a difference between day and night? Is there a difference between Pennsylvania and Connecticut?

Nekrutenko and his colleagues scraped bugs off windshield and sequenced them — there was indeed a difference between the bugs in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Robison adds, "Gotta admit some jealousy — I wish I had this much access to a second-gen sequencer that I could do such a whimsical project!"

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.