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More'n a Million

The genomic sequences of more than a million coronaviruses have now been uploaded to GISAID, Nature News reports.

It adds that the first SARS-CoV-2 genome was added to the database in January 2020 from China, with others following from Africa, Australia, the UK, and elsewhere, and there are now viral sequences from 172 different countries. GISAID — Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data — launched in 2016 as a database for sharing flu genomes, it notes, but became popular for sharing SARS-CoV-2 genomes as well.

With all these sequences, Sebastian Maurer-Stroh tells Nature News that researchers can study how the virus spreads as well as the effect of vaccinations and other measures to control that spread.

There are gaps within the database, Nature News adds. It points out that 379,510 sequences come from the UK, which started a viral sequencing program early in the pandemic, and 303,359 from the US, which is ramping its sequencing effort up, but none from Tanzania and only 49 from Lebanon and six from El Salvador, as of this week.

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.