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The Twins in Brazil

There's a region in Brazil where so many twins have been born — in one village of 350 people, 10 percent of births were of twins — that residents have many theories as to why, from there being something in the water to the machinations of Nazi physician Josef Mengele, who died in Brazil in 1979. According to a New York Times article, researcher Ursula Matte and her team scoured through the region's drinking water to find nothing unusual and, using baptismal certificates, traced the high incidence of twins in the area to before Mengele was in Brazil. Instead, Matte's team says that the mothers, all part of a highly-related, German-speaking population, share a gene that predisposes them to having twins. "We analyzed six genes and found one gene that confirms, in this population, a predisposition to the birth of twins," Matte says. She notes, though, that this gene many not be universal for a predisposition to twins. "If I take twins from New Zealand and test them, it will probably generate a different result," she adds.

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.