Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told lawmakers that the US needs to do more to track SARS-CoV-2 variants, according to the New York Times.

Last month, the Biden Administration announced that it was committing $1.7 billion to detect and monitor SARS-CoV-2 variants. More than half the funding — $1 billion — is to go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local governments to expand genomic viral surveillance.

According to the Times, Columbia University's Salim Abdool Karim told a House panel that such funding is sorely needed, especially as the new variants may emerge as wider vaccination effort place it under pressure. Yale School of Public Health's Nathan Grubaugh added, according to the Times, that the emergence of new variants need to be better monitored. "These global and national genomic surveillance gaps severely limit our ability to detect new and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, and should be considered as a threat to US public health," he said.

The Times notes that the researchers also underscored the need to share such data as well as to have associated medical information.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.