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Going, Going, Gone?

At the Mermaid's Tale blog, Ken Weiss wonders whether whole-genome sequencing is "fading." There are various indicators — like a recent blog post from Carl Zimmer on his "genome fatigue" — that both researchers and the public are "losing enthusiasm for human whole-genome sequencing," Weiss says.

He adds that a colleague who sits on an NIH grant review panel tells him this particular group is reluctant to fund any more genome-wide association studies. "If this turns out to be more than a few anecdotes or personal opinions, and is actually occurring, it's understandable and to be lauded," Weiss says. "As we think we can truthfully claim, we have for years been warning of the dangers of the kind of overkill that genomics (and, indeed, other 'omics fads) present: promise miracles and you had better deliver!"

In Weiss' opinion, money should be spent on looking at specific problem-causing genes. "The instances of single-gene or major-mutation causation are numerous and real," he adds. "At present, whole-genome sequence data provide too much variation for us to deal with on adequate terms."

That doesn't mean the end of whole-genome sequencing, however. "Whether that will be a rebound towards good science, or a relapse of low payoff, is a matter of opinion," Weiss says.

The Scan

Not Kept "Clean and Sanitary"

A Food and Drug Administration inspection uncovered problems with cross contamination at an Emergent BioSolutions facility, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Resumption Recommendation Expected

The Washington Post reports that US officials are expected to give the go-ahead to resume using Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Canada's New Budget on Science

Science writes that Canada's new budget includes funding for the life sciences, but not as much as hoped for investigator-driven research.

Nature Papers Examine Single-Cell, Multi-Omic SARS-CoV-2 Response; Flatfish Sequences; More

In Nature this week: single-cell, multi-omics analysis provides insight into COVID-19 pathogenesis, evolution of flatfish, and more.