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CDC Commits $90M to Create Public Health Pathogen Genomics Research Centers

NEW YORK — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has earmarked $90 million to fund the establishment of six US Public Health Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence that will be tasked with developing technologies to address microbial threats to public health.

The centers will work with academic and public health organizations to advance pathogen genomics and molecular epidemiology to improve the control of, and response to, infectious disease, the CDC said.

Grant funding is expected to be awarded in August 2022, with projects beginning the following month.

Earlier this year, the White House announced that the Biden administration had committed $1.7 billion to support the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants, including viral genome sequencing, genomic epidemiology centers, and new bioinformatics infrastructure.

At the time, the government said that $400 million would be used to create six Centers of Excellence in Genomic Epidemiology that will work with state health departments and academic institutes to develop new genomic epidemiology technologies such as surveillance tools to track pathogens and bioinformatic workflows.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.