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Gene Variation and Risk of Acquiring HIV

A paper in Cell Host & Microbe reports that HIV-1 attaches to the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines found on the surface of red blood cells to enter those cells. The DARC-negative genotype, found in most African people and many people of African decent, confers resistance to Plasmodium vivax malaria, but also gives a 40 percent increase in the odds of acquiring HIV-1, potentially explaining the disproportionate spread of the disease in Africans and African-Americans. Though more susceptible to the disease, people with this variation have a slower progression of HIV. In the Los Angeles Times, the senior author, Sunil Ahuja, cautions that social factors such as poverty, a lack of healthcare, and sexual behavior, probably play more of a role in HIV infection.

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.