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Cholera All A-Sequenced

The cholera strain that is devastating Haiti likely originated from Southeast Asia, reports researchers from Boston and Pacific Biosciences. In the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers describe using PacBio's single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing method to distinguish the cholera strain circulating in Haiti from others found in Latin America and the US Gulf Coast. Indeed, they report that the Haitian strain is "nearly identical to so-called variant seventh-pandemic El Tor O1 strains that are predominant in South Asia" and they add that "understanding exactly how this South Asian variant strain of V. cholerae was introduced to Haiti will require further epidemiologic investigation."

As our sister publication In Sequence points out, this study confirmed an earlier CDC finding, though its significance may be in the speed at which the study was done. There were two weeks between sample collection to the submission of the paper, and sequencing took about 48 hours. "It was definitely intense," PacBio's Eric Schadt tells The New York Times' Andrew Pollack.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.