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Of Human Rights and Rattlesnakes (and Microbes)

The method described in a New York Times Magazine article on how Patrick Ball uncovers evidence of war crimes seemed familiar to Jonathan Eisen. Ball uses sampling and statistics to build his case, and similar methods are used to survey microbes. To estimate the number of microbes, ecologists isolate DNA from a sample from the environment and look at different versions of a gene that all species have --  not unlike the mark-release-recapture studies of rattlesnakes, or of human rights.

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.