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Lots of Genomes

This year's Biology of Genomes conference is in full swing at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Approximately 550 people have gathered to hear talks discussing the genetics of complex traits, cancer genomes, and more — as well as to mingle at the campus bar. During one session, Cornell University's Adam Siepel described a way to tease out demographic and ancestral information from a comparison of personal genomes. From his team's examination of these genomes, they conclude that African and Eurasians diverged about 50,000 years ago, which Siepel said is consistent with other data. However, they found that the San population diverged about 130,000 years ago, which Siepel noted to be on the higher side of previous estimates. Utah's Mark Yandell spoke about his group's VAAST tool, which he said is analogous to Blast, though it searches for statistically significant instances of dissimilarity rather than similarity. Later, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Guy Sella presented work showing that while classic selective sweeps are seen in different Drosophila species as a mode of adaptation, sweeps appear to rarely occur in humans. In addition, Aylwyn Scally from the Sanger Institute gave an update on the gorilla genome, and how that information can inform studies of diversity in great apes.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.