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A Chance to Try it Out

The US Food and Drug Administration approved biotech firm Geron's application to conduct a clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell therapy. The decision came days after President Obama was inaugurated though Geron and FDA representatives say the timing is coincidental. Technology Review reports that the trial will include eight patients with new spinal-cord injuries and that they will be given GRNOPC1. GRNOPC1 is made by transforming ESCs into oligodendrocytes, which are cells that help electrical messages to be passed along nerves. The hope is that injecting these cells into injured sites would restore lost nerve function.

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.