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Where the Sequencing Occurs

CNN writes that the emergence of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has highlighted how sequencing can spot new viral variants, but it notes that that sequencing ability is not spread evenly across the world.

According to CNN, only a dozen countries have sequenced 5 percent or more of their COVID-19 cases in the past month: Aruba, Bahrain, Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Ghana, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Senegal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It notes, though, that some of these countries were able to sequence such a percentage because their infections rates were low. CNN adds that the UK stands out as a spot with both a high caseload and a high portion, 13 percent, of sequenced COVID-19 cases.

The health ministry in South Africa, one of the places to sound the alarm on the Omicron variant, says that though it sequenced less than 1 percent of cases last month, it has focused its sequencing in regions where it has seen an upswing in cases, like Gauteng province where Omicron was found, CNN notes.

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.