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Ready to Run Tests

By being prepared, NPR reports that a virology lab run by UW Medicine is ramping up to be able to test a thousand or more patient samples for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Keith Jerome, who runs the lab, tells NPR that he and his colleagues started preparing when they caught wind of the outbreak's start in China. "Our opinion was, this is probably not going to be a problem, this is probably going to be a waste of our effort and some money, but we owe it to the people of our area to be prepared," he says.

Seattle, where UW Medicine is, is now a center of the outbreak in the US, with about 50 COVID-19 cases in the area, according to the King County health department.

The test Jerome and his colleagues developed was initially just for research, but they got the go-ahead to use it on patients. He tells NPR that his lab is now running on three shifts and is processing about 100 tests per day, but says it is ready to scale to 1,000 tests a day and could even reach 4,000 tests a day.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

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RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

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