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Wastewater Warning System

Cities and college campuses are testing their sewage to monitor SARS-CoV-2 in their areas, Time magazine writes.

As GenomeWeb has reported, molecular wastewater-based epidemiology first took off as a means of helping public health officials track and grapple with illegal drug, especially, opioid use, but the field pivoted at the outset of the pandemic to tracing SARS-CoV-2. Researchers from Biobot Analytics reported in April 2020 that wastewater surveillance could detect SARS-CoV-2, and Yale University researchers found that such sampling could identify an upswing in cases about a week earlier than other approaches. Schools like the University of Arizona and Chicago and other cities have adopted such testing, as have countries like the UK and France.

Time magazine adds that infrastructure supporting viral sewage monitoring has also increased with, for instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention establishing a National Wastewater Surveillance Program and a portal through which that data is analyzed and returned to public health departments with policy ideas. The hope, it notes, is to incorporate wastewater testing into public health labs to keep an eye on not only SARS-CoV-2 and any new viral variants, but also future pathogens that may pose a threat to people.

The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.