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Hold Your Nose and Test

Colleges and universities around the US are testing their sewage in a bid to catch coronavirus outbreaks early and keep in-person learning, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

The University of Arizona, for instance, repeatedly uncovered SARS-CoV-2 within sewage from one dorm, which led officials there to test its residents, it adds, noting they uncovered two asymptomatic individuals who tested positive and were moved into quarantine. 

According to the Chronicle, other universities are similarly testing their wastewater and using those results to guide their clinical testing. "Maybe we can decrease the frequency of clinical testing and instead ramp up testing when we do see a spike in wastewater," Newsha Ghaeli, the president of Biobot, a firm that helps analyze sewage, tells it.

As the Chronicle notes, the aim is to avoid what universities like the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and Illinois State University have experienced — a spike in coronavirus cases after students returned to campus and a quick pivot to online classes.

The Scan

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.

DNA Biobank Developed for French Kidney Donors, Recipients

The KiT-GENIE biobank described in the European Journal of Human Genetics contains DNA samples, genotyping profiles, immune patterns, and clinical features for thousands of kidney donors or transplant recipients in Nantes, France.

Cardiometabolic Disease May Have Distinct Associations With Microbial Metabolites in Blood, Gut

By analyzing gut microbes in combination with related metabolites in feces and blood, researchers in Nature Communications found distinct cardiometabolic disease relationships at each site.

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.