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Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project aims to use environmental DNA sampling to put together a picture of the biodiversity of rivers across the world, according to the Guardian.

It adds that the $15 million eBioAtlas program, a partnership between the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the eDNA company NatureMetrics, plans to collect samples from freshwater sites like the Ganges River and the Niger River delta to better understand what animals live around the rivers. Similar smaller-scale efforts, the Guardian says, have helped in the conservation of the great crested newt and given better insight into the habitat of pink river dolphins and manatees of the Amazon.

With this project, the researchers plan to collect 30,000 waters samples for eDNA analysis. "Our aim is to do a global eDNA blitz if we get sufficient funding," Will Darwall, head of IUCN's freshwater biodiversity unit, tells the Guardian. "We can't just do little bits here and there. I think this is a real game-changer because identification can be so much faster."

The Guardian notes, though, that identification is limited by what is in the reference library the samples are compared to.

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.