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Viral Hunting

Ian Lipkin at Columbia University is scouring samples to look for viruses, and he has found 400 new ones since 2002, reports Carl Zimmer in The New York Times. "If scientists are lucky, they'll identify one novel virus in their whole life," says Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Lipkin really stands out from the crowd." Instead of using microscopes to find viruses or tracking them down through antibodies, Lipkin searches for viral genes. To do so, he and his team developed MassTag PCR, which combines PCR and mass spectrometry to determine what kind of virus they are dealing with and recently, they have begun to adapt genome sequencing tools to their searches. With sequencing tools, the team found a new virus, called Dandenong, that killed three women after they received organs from the same donor.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.