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Glaxo Pays Up

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $750 million to settle several lawsuits stemming from whistleblower complaints about the company knowingly selling contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant, report the New York Times' Gardiner Harris and Duff Wilson. Glaxo sold 20 drugs — including antidepressant Paxil, diabetes drug Avandia, and heart drug Coreg — manufactured at a plant that had contamination problems for many years, Gardiner and Wilson say. In one suit, a former quality manager for the firm says she blew the whistle after she was fired for bringing these issues to the attention of upper management. Glaxo closed the troubled plant in 2009, as it was unable to fix the problems. Whistleblower lawsuits have been making waves throughout the pharmaceutical industry, according to the Times. While other suits have generally been about companies' shady marketing practices, this is the first successful suit to show that a drugmaker knowingly sold contaminated products, Gardiner and Wilson add.

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.