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Guilty Verdict in Libya, Despite Sequencing Evidence

According to a New York Times report, a group of medical workers accused of infecting more than 400 children with HIV in a hospital in Benghazi, Libya, were sentenced to death by a Libyan court yesterday. The verdict comes despite attempted intervention by the scientific community and a fast-tracked paper in Nature, in which sequence analysis of the particular HIV strain showed that the medical team couldn't have been culpable.

The five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor will face a firing squad, according to the report. Bulgarian’s foreign minister is appealing to Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to halt the ruling based on what many individuals familiar with the situation consider a less-than-competent handling of the case by the courts.

The case goes back to 1998, when it became apparent that an unusually large number of children began testing positive for HIV shortly after the defendants' arrival. Libyan prosecutors claimed that one of the nurses admitted to infecting the children with a vial containing the virus. Families of the victims have stated that the charges would be dropped if Bulgaria is able to fork over $10 million per child in donations.

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.