Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

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

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.