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Learn a Lesson from the Past

Sequencing the human microbiome could lead to exciting and important discoveries for human health, says Ed Yong at Nature News. But researchers working with the microbiome should learn the lessons of genome research past, and avoid overhyping their work, he adds.

At the International Human Microbiome Congress in Paris last week, University of British Columbia microbiologist Julian Davies called microbiome research "the biggest life science project of all time." But others, like University of California, Davis, microbiologist Jonathan Eisen, worry that microbiome research could suffer the same backlash as the Human Genome Project, when many criticized the field for not producing actionable discoveries quickly enough. "Without a doubt we are running into some of the same problems as the Human Genome Project," Eisen tells Yong. "There are many people who have oversold the human microbiome as the cause or cure of everything."

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.