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Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Validated as SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance Strategy in Austria

Using deep sequencing and a "variant quantification in sewage pipeline designed for robustness," or VaQuERO, analytical pipeline, researchers from Austria and Romania profiled more than 3,400 wastewater samples collected between December 2020 and February of this year at 94 municipal catchment sites in Austria, searching for specific SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants. The team's findings — validated using epidemiological data for more than 311,000 individuals — revealed viral genetic diversity, dynamics, and diversification in the country over time. "[W]e described elevated viral genetic diversity during the Delta variant period, provide a framework to predict emerging variants, and measure the reproductive advantage of variants of concern by calculating variant-specific reproduction numbers from wastewater," the authors write, noting that the work "demonstrates the power of national-scale [wastewater-based epidemiology] to support public health and promises particular value for countries without extensive individual monitoring."

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.