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Danger in the Lab

A piece in Slate discusses why academic labs are so much more dangerous than industry ones. Slate has a laundry list of lab accidents: a lab technician who died of burns after transferring T-butyl lithium, a professor electrocuted after plugging in a light with an ungrounded plug, a postdoc injured in an explosion, two technicians exposed to botulinum toxin, and more. The difference between safety in academia and industry, Slate says, is occupational safety and health don't apply to many people working in academic labs if they are paid by outside funding agencies and that safety violations take no toll on a PI's career, as it would in industry. "University administrators from the provost on down must make safety a serious concern and a requirement for career advancement and hiring, and tenure and promotion committees must hold faculty members responsible for seeing that everyone in their labs has the training, skills, and equipment needed to work safely," writes Beryl Lieff Benderly.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.