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DNAstack COVID-19 Beacon

DNAstack has released Beacon for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to enable the scientific and medical communities to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of the virus in real time. Beacon, which is available here, will allow information about genetic variants to be shared instantly using software that follows an open international standard, the company said.

Researchers can use the new Beacon to discover sequences with specific genetic mutations and map their geographic and evolutionary origins. The platform integrates derivative data from genetic sequencing libraries such as GISAID and links to Nextstrain pathogen evolution visualizations. 

The COVID-19 Beacon is compliant with the Beacon API, an internationally recognized open-source protocol developed by the Global Alliance for Genomic and Health (GA4GH). The system is deployed on Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform with global reach and scalability.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.