Here, There and Everywhere


You know that Beatles song, Dave, Here There and Everywhere? Sure, please don't ask me to sing it.(laugh) No, I'll spare everyone. But listen, I think it perfectly describes some new biomedical research. Oh, that's intriguing.

Yeah. The first is the human pan-genome which was not complete in two thousand three despite what some scientists declared. That's right. New tech helped us fill in the last three percent and the new pan-genome now has samples from every continent instead of just DNA of European origin. See? Here there and everywhere and this will help us produce better medicines for everyone!

That's clever! Okay, what's the next one? It's a study of herpes virus infections in sea turtles. Oh this is one's fascinating! It does fit the song! Researchers found a way to recover the turtles' DNA from their paw prints on the beach. Yep. Turtles shed DNA as they swim or walk. It's called environmental or eDNA. Humans shed DNA as well. To see if human eDNA could be found here there and everywhere, they looked in rivers, streams, and isolated beaches and yep, we're everywhere except for the most remote places.

It's amazing the details they could draw - the person's sex, ancestry, and even genetic mutations. This could allow scientists to monitor environmental DNA samples for cancer in populations, track diseases, and help with crime forensics. In some cases, the DNA sequences were long enough to identify individuals which raises sticky privacy issues. This study shows we cannot go anywhere today without leaving traces of ourselves.

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More Information

First human 'pangenome' aims to catalogue genetic diversity
Researchers release draft results from an ongoing effort to capture the entirety of human genetic variation...

Sea turtle conservation gets boost from new DNA detection method
DNA "fingerprints" left behind by sea turtles offer scientists a simple, powerful way of tracking the health and whereabouts of these endangered animals, a key step forward in their conservation...