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Budgets, Birthdays, but Mostly Bragging


Good news all around. NIH celebrates a doubled budget (see p. 23), the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Watson and Crick discovery (see p. 26), and Genome Technology celebrates an award for editorial excellence. Indulge me while I gloat for just a moment.

You might recall Mere-dith Salisbury’s “Four-Color Face-Off” exposé last year of the newly resurfaced political intrigue surrounding the decades-old invention of the automated fluorescent DNA sequencing technology. The article, published in GT’s June 2002 edition, came after the unsealing of an MJ Research lawsuit charging ABI and Caltech with conspiracy and fraud. As Meredith pointed out, “If MJ succeeds in overturning the patents, it would open the doors for anyone to use four-color fluorescence for sequencing — and could potentially raise the floodgates for lawsuits against ABI from companies that have had to pay for the license all these years.”

Last month Meredith’s story beat out 208 competitors from other trade and technical publications (as well as her now reverent colleagues at this one!) to win first place in an Excellence in Technology Journalism competition. The contest, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America, is judged by a panel of the top technology editors and journalists in the country who evaluate entries on the basis of value to readers, clarity of communication, and significance in terms of technical innovation and newsworthiness. This is the first time a publication focused on life sciences technology has won the award.

Along with her coverage of a new development in the case, Meredith gives a recap and an update on the story in this issue (p. 20). But you can find a (seriously) abridged version of the original award-winning article at by searching with the keyword “16-count complaint,” or get the full 4,000-word account by ponying up $89 to subscribe to GT’s new online archive — that will also get you electronic access to the content from all 32 of our issues to date, and everything that’s yet to come. For more info go to

Adrienne J. Burke, Editor in Chief

Coming next month in GT

• RNAi: The whole story

• To finish or not to finish genomes: As the cost of finishing a sequence falls, is a draft still the better deal?

• Microfluidics: Is there a business here?


The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.