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Sequencing, Sensibility, and 'White Guys' at GET

Emily Singer at the MIT Technology Review blog presents her thoughts of last week's GET Conference in Cambridge, Mass. First, and perhaps not surprisingly, she writes, "sequencing executives really like to have their genomes sequenced." Four out of the conference's 14 "genome pioneers" were the founder of Helicos, a former Solexa chief executive officer, and the CEOs of Illumina and Life Technologies, according to Technology Review. Of the genome pioneers, Singer writes, three were women, one was Asian, and one was African American — "Personal genome sequencing is still mostly the domain of white guys, at least outside the research area," she notes. Though "sequencing is becoming a family affair," Singer suggests that "wives and mothers seem to be more cautious about publicly releasing their genomes." When Singer mentioned this apparent trend to Stephen Quake, he told her that "they generally are the more sensible ones." Another major theme from GET, Singer says, is that "some of the most interesting applications for genome sequencing lie beyond the human genome." Namely, microbiome analyses and sequencing studies to geographically track pathogen emergence suggest "targeting personalized medicine efforts," she reports.

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.