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A New Take on an Old Favorite

The current method of identifying bacterial infections in hospitals involves petri dishes filled with agar and lots of patience, says Technology Review's Lauren Gravitz. But a new type of diagnostic using nanopore membranes takes the petri dish to the next level, and allows for the identification of bacteria up to five times faster than conventional methods, the company says. The new technology is from the Ohio-based company Nanologix, Gravitz says, and it "speeds up the process by wicking bacteria and viruses through the pores of its membrane, aiding growth." Then the membrane can be taken off the agar and placed on a staining plate for identification of the organisms present. There are already technologies available that work faster to identify organisms than these nanopore plates, Gravitz says. PCR, for example, can do the job in about 30 minutes. But those machines can cost a lot of money, and aren't always available in small hospitals. The Nanologix kits, on the other hand, cost between $5 and $10, she adds. The company says it has tests for E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and others, and plans to submit tests for streptococcus and other gram-positive bacteria to FDA later this year.

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.