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Petri People

What better way to study a disease than by looking at cells from a patient? Researchers are using induced pluripotent stem cell technology to generate cells from patients with Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and Down syndrome, among others, Technology Review's Emily Singer reports. "By differentiating these cells into the cell type affected in the disease, scientists can search for molecular missteps unique to these cells," Singer says. "The findings are already beginning to shed light on these diseases and are being used as a tool to test new treatments." Among these experiments, Gabsang Lee and Lorenz Studer created stem cells from patients with familial dysautonomia and found that the cells didn't differentiate into neurons as easily as cells from healthy people. Further, researchers from the Dolmetsch Lab at Stanford University generated neurons from a patient with Timothy syndrome — a rare disorder that affects the heart and brain — and found that the cells make too much of a certain enzyme, leading to a treatment to block the excess, Singer says.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.