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Simulating Genome Evolution, Made Easier

Jonathan Eisen likes a paper on new software for simulating genome evolution. The paper, published in Genome Biology, comes out of Ian Holmes' lab at Berkeley. His team has written three new open-source programs that address inherent problems in current programs: GSIMULATOR (for neutrally evolving DNA), SIMGRAM (for generic structured features), and SIMGENOME (for syntenic genome blocks). "Each offers algorithms for parameter measurement and reconstruction of ancestral sequence," says the abstract, and all three perform better than the leading neutral DNA simulator (DAWG) in benchmarks. You can download the programs at BioWiki.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.