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Flu Games

If you're worried about an H1N1 flu resurgence, head on over to the iPhone app store, says Scientific American. Children's Hospital Boston and the MIT Media Lab developed an application, called Outbreaks Near Me. The program builds upon HealthMap, a website funded by NLM, CDC, and CIHR, that maps outbreaks but also sends alerts based on the user's location and allows users to submit information as well. "This is grassroots, participatory epidemiology," HealthMap co-founder Clark Freifeld says. The app is free.

If you want to feel more active in epidemiology, there's a video game to check out. Mentioned on the Rachel Maddow Show last month, the Great Flu, from the pharmaceutical industry-sponsored European Scientific Working group on Influenza, allows players to try various tools to contain a fictional virus outbreak. The Daily Scan's been playing all morning and has killed nearly a half-billion people.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.