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Putting That Bioinformatics 101 Class to Work

In a paper called "Metagenome Annotation Using a Distributed Grid of Undergraduate Students" (which Sandra Porter calls "nerdy and cute"), French researchers describe their strategy for teaching undergraduate-level bioinformatics using cutting-edge genomic data and a Web-based learning tool. The students then annotated real metagenomic sequences from the Global Ocean Sampling experiment. "In return for their much-needed help sorting out oodles of DNA data, the undergrads gain a practical knowledge of the work involved in doing bioinformatics and metagenomics, and, most importantly of all, they get to experience what it's like to do real research," says Karen James at the Beagle Project. Jonathan Eisen's a fan of the work, too, not only because it was metagenomics and published in a PLoS journal, but also because the software is open source.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.