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The Man Doesn't Take a Week Off

Craig Venter has applied for a patent to cover the method he has used to build a synthetic organism with the minimal gene set, and at least one biotech group is already calling for its rejection. For the straight news story, check out this article from the BBC. If you're looking for some sass, the New Scientist has an article citing critics concerned that Venter is cobbling together a "microbesoft" (seriously).

And for a running commentary from other people, here's a Wired blog that has drawn a pretty good crowd. We particularly enjoyed the post that began, "Please god no" -- though it wasn't clear whether the post was meant as a personal message to Venter.


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.