Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Reporting Live from the Compound … Er, We Mean "Resort"

That’s right, while you’re slaving away in your sterile lab, GTO is suffering through cloudless San Diego skies and a 44-acre resort setting to bring you a live report from the Genomes, Medicine, and the Environment meeting. (GTO is relatively certain that Paradise Point, this hyper-landscaped resort located on a small island, is actually the site of Dick Cheney’s undisclosed bunker. Now we understand why he wouldn’t emerge.)

While there have been several interesting talks so far, our favorite was from Jonathan Eisen, who spoke about the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea, a project he’s spearheading to help rectify the under-representation of genomes from a number of phyla in the microbial tree of life. “If we look at the tree of life,” he told the audience, “the tree is not happy.” (The secret to being GTO’s favorite? Drawing frowny faces over your data slides.) Eisen called for better guidance of genome projects to increase diversification of phyla that have at least one organism’s genome sequenced. He’s working with the Joint Genome Institute on the project, which aims to add 100 microbial genomes from key phyla in its first year. Eisen also said a major goal is to get more community involvement in helping decide how much representation is necessary for each phylum.

And here’s a shout out to Joe DeRisi, who gave a talk about hunting viruses during the infectious disease panel Tuesday afternoon. His descriptions of viruses that mutate so rapidly they can’t be identified by standard PCR tests in hospitals has GTO wondering what strange new bug we’re going to pick up on the flight home. Thanks for that, Joe.


The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.