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Why Compete? Collaborate!

During the Wharton Global Alumni Forum held in San Francisco in June, Jeremy Siegel and Craig Venter "unknowingly connected two wires and illuminated a light bulb in my head," writes Jeffrey Sheehan from the University of Pennsylvania at Business Insider. Siegel, also at UPenn, spoke of research productivity — specifically, that "the rate of discovery ... is strongly influenced by the number of individuals engaged in common research," Sheehan says — while Venter discussed, among other things, his team's efforts to revamp vaccine production using synthetic genomics. "He [Venter] also described how research is now a twenty-four hour a day phenomenon, with Chinese researchers picking up ideas just as Americans go to sleep, and then passing the results of their cogitation to the Europeans as they wake up, and so on endlessly," Sheehan says, which, when taken with key themes gleaned from Siegel's talk, led him to realize that communication and cooperation are key "to enhance productivity and ... spread prosperity." Because of this, Sheehan proposes that "we re-engineer our thinking about collaboration." Overall, "we need more collaboration and less competition," he says.

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.