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Gut Typing

A team of researchers led by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's Peer Bork reports that there are three human gut microbiome enterotypes in Nature this week. Using 22 newly sequenced fecal metagenomes from people from four countries as well as previously published data, the researchers identified three clusters that people's gut microbiomes fall into and found that those clusters are not specific to nations or continents. The enterotypes do differ in composition and enzyme production — enterotype 1, which is marked by high levels of Bacteroides, produces more vitamin B7 enzymes, while Enterotype 2, which has many bacteria from the genus Prevotella, makes more thiamine enzymes, writes Carl Zimmer in The New York Times. "It's an important advance," the University of Colorado's Rob Knight, who was not involved in the research, told the Times. "It's the first indication that human gut ecosystems may fall into distinct types," Knight added. Bork told the Times that as more research and more samples are needed for further investigations into these enterotypes, his group has expanded its study to include 400 people.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.