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Only Find It if You Look

UK researchers say their finding of a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 underscores the importance of viral genomic surveillance, the Globe and Mail reports.

Earlier this month, the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that a new SARS-CoV-2 strain had been uncovered in southern England. As Science has reported there are concerns that this strain may be spreading more quickly than others, but that more analysis is needed. As the Globe and Mail notes, this announcement and a similar one from South Africa has led other nations to close their borders to UK and South African travelers.

The Globe and Mail adds that researchers have long said that new viral variants could arise, and adds that the UK and South Africa were better poised to find them because of the sequencing programs they have in place. "If you are going to find something anywhere, you are going to find it probably here first," Sharon Peacock, the director of the COVID-19 Genomics UK consortium, tells it. "And if [a variant] occurs in places that don't have any sequencing, you're not going to find it at all."

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.