Detecting SARS-CoV-2 in blood may be early indicator of severe disease A blood test that measures SARS-CoV-2 RNA when patients are admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms can be a powerful diagnostic tool to predict how severe their disease will be, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases on August 28. Patients without viral RNA in their blood have a good chance at rapid recovery, concluded researchers from Karolinska Institutet and Danderyd Hospital. Discuss
Molecular barcoding of DNA identifies rare mutations in stem cells Scientists have developed a new next-generation sequencing technique using molecular barcodes that can accurately detect a single genetic mutation in a pool of 10,000 cells. The researchers applied the approach to CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to search for undesirable mutations caused by the platform. The research and methods were published in Genome Biology on August 24. Discuss
ESMO recommends use of NGS for advanced cancers The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) released its first recommendations for the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for patients with metastatic cancers. The guidance was published in the Annals of Oncology on August 25. Discuss
Genomic mutations can influence disease risk The reason why some genetically predisposed individuals may or may not develop a disease is rooted in mutations throughout the genome, according to a new study published in Nature Communications on August 20. The researchers explained how this information can be used to improve disease risk estimations in the clinic. Discuss
Genetic engineering shows how 'foreign' DNA impacts evolution A new study has demonstrated that "foreign" DNA -- DNA transferred horizontally into a species from a source other than a parent -- can become functional over time and can impact an organism's evolution and fitness, according to a paper published August 10 in Nature Ecology and Evolution. Discuss
Human-infecting coronaviruses have lived in bats for decades Genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has revealed that the type of virus family to which the novel coronavirus belongs most likely first emerged in bats in the late 1960s, according to a new study published in Nature Microbiology on July 28.