CNN have revealed today that every single person in the World now claims to have been involved in crowd-sourcing the E coli outbreak in 2011.
The final human to do so, a non-English speaking member of a previously uncontacted pygmy-tribe in Papua New Guinea, immediately laid claim to the crowd-sourcing project when first contact was made by US anthropologists.
The outbreak of E coli 0104:H4 in Germany in 2011, eventually traced to infected bean sprouts, caused more than 4000 cases and over 50 deaths. Raw sequence data was released by the Big Genome Institute (BGI) and almost immediately a small number of scientists began analysing it, led by Dr Rick Slowman at the University of Birmingham. The data and analyses are still available on GitHub.
However, soon after, many companies and individuals began to re-write history by emphasizing their own involvement in the group. Ancient sequencing technologies, such as Ion Torrent and 454 claimed to have produced the sequencing data, and scientists turned up at conferences pretending to be Dr Slowman, even mirroring his trademark “bowl” haircut.
The number of people claiming to have been involved has increased exponentially since 2011 until now, in 2014, we have reached “peak ecoli crowdsource”. As the subject becomes less trendy, numbers are now expected to dwindle, and eventually settle at the correct number – the scientists who actually were involved.