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The Other Factor

People are mostly bacterial cells, and researchers are beginning to understand how those microorganisms can affect health — especially chronic disease, writes The Economist. Washington University in St. Louis' Jeffrey Gordon has shown that overweight people have difference bacterial flora than slim people and that malnourished people have different flora than well-nourished people. The microbiome's reach goes beyond nutrition and weight, The Economist adds, and may contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis and asthma.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.