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Going After the Impossible

There are myriad targets that have been deemed undruggable and they "have rankled even the best-funded laboratories over the years," The Scientist says. However, some biotechs are game for taking those impossible targets on — and they appear to be seeing some success. The Scientist notes that one of those companies, Anchor Therapeutics, is working on targeting membrane receptors for Novartis and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Anchor has been able to target G-protein coupled receptors by using pepducins to change the shape of the receptor and one of its possible drugs is a pepducin that targets CXCR4, a G-protein coupled receptor found on cells of the immune system. "Our job is not to produce the same old stuff," says NeurAxon's John Andrews, whose company is also pursuing undruggables. "Our job is to make things [that] improve people's lives ... and these high-hanging fruit are some of the best ways to do that."

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.