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Funds for Viral Genomic Surveillance

The Biden Administration is investing $1.7 billion for the detection and monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 variants, as GenomeWeb has reported.

A number of SARS-CoV-2 variants have been identified, including variants of concern like B.1.1.7, B.1.3.5, and P.1. B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the UK, is now the most common variant in the US.

With funding from the American Rescue Plan, the Biden Administration says it is providing $1 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local governments to expand genome sequencing to identify and monitor SARS-CoV-2 variants. At the same time, $400 million is going toward the launch of six Centers of Excellence in Genomic Epidemiology and $300 million to build a national bioinformatics infrastructure.

"Our goal is to get that money out as fast as possible to help states in all the many ways that they need to be able to expand their own sequencing capacity," Carole Johnson, the White House COVID-19 testing coordinator, tells NPR. She adds that this funding is "both about today and about building for the long term."

The Scan

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.

Clinical Genomic Lab Survey Looks at Workforce Needs

Investigators use a survey approach in Genetics in Medicine Open to assess technologist applications, retention, and workforce gaps at molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics labs in the US.

Study Considers Gene Regulatory Features Available by Sequence-Based Modeling

Investigators in Genome Biology set sequence-based models against observational and perturbation assay data, finding distal enhancer models lag behind promoter predictions.

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

Investigators in AJHG distinguish between aneuploidy events related to meiotic missegregation in haploid cells and those involving post-zygotic mitotic errors and mosaicism.