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'Nobody Speaks for the End Users'

Mary at The OpenHelix Blog — hosted by the genomics research resource firm — applauds the National Human Genome Reseach Institutes' efforts to plan for "sustainable exponential growth,""focus on democratization," and "spur better software development," (via Sean Eddy at Cryptogenomicon) but says that no one "really speaks for the consumers of this software and this data." Specifically, Mary writes, beyond question-and-answer style feedback systems and marker papers, "nobody speaks for the end users." The blogger says she'd like to see enhanced outreach efforts, and that they be required — though she doesn't suggest by whom. "No matter how much hardware and documentation you throw at these projects, if people don't know it exists, and have no idea how to use it, the project will not yield all the results that it could," Mary writes, adding that outreach should be standard procedure for software and database projects, "not an afterthought."

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.