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Jumping Off

At his Not Invented Here blog, Harvard School of Public Health's Oliver Hofmann discusses the Broad Institute's David Jaffe's keynote talk at Beyond the Genome 2011's Genome Informatics Pre-Meeting held in Washington, DC, this week. Hofmann summarizes Jaffe's key points on genome assembly challenges during this time of "rapid technological change." According to Hofmann, Jaffe stressed that toward the end-goal of improved linear assemblies, changes to format requirements are needed. For example, assemblies should encompass an "inner layer which includes annotation [and] local graphs" as well as an "outer layer that contains information on the global structure — e.g., information about perfect repeats that cannot be resolved." Hofmann says Jaffe noted that gap size estimation continues to be a challenge, one that may necessitate "local re-assemblies around problem spots or inconsistencies" going forward. Overall, Hofmann summarizes Jaffe's talk, saying that the "potential of current data not 'maxed out' yet." The data, Hofmann writes, "can be traced and improved by better algorithms," though he adds that "part of the solution has to come through a better representation of genomes."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.