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Microbial Boost?

Two studies plan to evaluate whether swabbing babies born via caesarian section with their mothers' microbes will boost their own microbiome and prevent disease, NPR reports.

One of the studies is taking place at the Inova hospital system and, there, researchers led by Suchitra Hourigan, a pediatric gastroenterologist, will first swab 50 babies, half with their mothers' birth canal microbiomes and half with a sterile solution, in a procedure known as vaginal seeding, NPR adds. If safe, then they plan to boost their cohort size to 800. The other study is to take place at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The thought, NPR notes, it that the procedure will lead to the microbiomes of these C-section babies to develop more like those of their vaginally delivered counterparts. And, as the number of C-section have risen around the same time as asthma, allergies, obesity, and other diseases, it may potentially cut down on disease risk as well.

"Who knows what's going to happen with the results? But if it does show something positive, I just think that would be great for kids and parents," Danielle Vukadinovich, an Inova study participant, tells NPR.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.