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Ready? Set? Assemble!

There's still time to contribute to the Assemblathon project out of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of California, Davis, says Iddo Friedberg at Byte Size Biology. The UC teams, which have already released two simulated genomes, invite competing groups to "use their own software to each assemble one or more genomes," according to the Assemblathon Web site. The organizers aim to compare different assembly programs — both new and old — in an effort to determine which programs work best for which assembly situations. All entries are due February 6, and final results will be publicized at the Genome Assembly Workshop at UC Santa Cruz on March 11. "As someone involved in two analogous efforts — prediction of protein function and of genotype/phenotype connections — I think this is a terrific idea that will help us advance the field of sequence assembly," Friedberg says.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.