Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Boost to Surveillance

The Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network is boosting its genomic surveillance capacity to better spot emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains, the Canadian Press reports.

It adds that the network was established in April 2020 as part of Genome Canada and currently sequences about 5 percent of COVID-19-positive samples in Canada. The group now aims to increase that to 10 percent of samples, it says. By comparison, the US sequences less than 1 percent of samples, and the UK about 10 percent.

The Canadian Press adds that viral variants of concern have been identified in all provinces, and that 601 of the 638 of those cases were the variant first identified in the UK. 

"We actually were faster than the US in identifying this [UK] variant in December, as soon as we started our sampling strategy. We were immediately able, in almost a week, to report some of those variants present in Canada," Catalina Lopez-Correa, the executive director of the network, tells the Canadian Press. "Being at 5 percent is already a good number. We're trying to push that to be closer to what the UK is doing."

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.