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Speedy Work

Researchers are moving at speed to understand the coronavirus that has been causing a pneumonia-like illness, the Washington Post reports.

It notes that the genome sequence of the coronavirus causing the disease was publicly released within 10 days of the illness first being reported, enabling researchers across the globe to study it. Already, the Post notes, researchers are analyzing the virus' genomic structure, developing ways to quickly diagnose the disease, and are even working on vaccines. This outpaces the work done on SARS in part because the tools to study the virus have matured and data sharing has become more widespread, it says.

"The pace is unmatched," Northwestern University's Karla Satchell tells the Post. "This is really new. Lots of people [in science] still try to hide what they're doing, don't want to talk about what they're doing, and everybody out there is like: This is the case where we don't worry about egos, we don't worry about who's first, we just care about solving the problem. The information flow has been really fast."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.