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The ‘Core Next Door’

Just like dating, choosing which core facility to send work to can be rife with clichés, Genomic Repairman says. While each varies according to its service offerings, he says that in general there are five main types of core labs that parallel stereotypes associated with potential dates. For example, there’s the much talked-about “core of ill-repute,” who always asks for more sample, but seldom generates good results, he says. Or there’s always the “high maintenance core,” who “will do the work and … at a reasonable price, but they’re going to make you work for it” — demanding detailed cover sheets on all submittals. On occasion, researchers are lucky enough to find the easy-going “core next door,” Genomic Repairman says. “… This core also understands that your lab is on a budget so they won't order foie grois at dinner. Not only that, you don't have to wait around [for results] forever,” he says. Because — as anyone who has ever been on a date can attest — there’s nothing like “waiting by the phone, waiting for the core to call,” Genomic Repairman says certain facilities can be frustrating. Cores like this “seem to have ability to do what you want them to and are reasonably excited,” he says, but once you send out your samples, you wait. “And wait. And wait. And wait. .... I'm can't sit and wait by the phone for the rest of my life waiting for you to call with my data,” he says. “I’ve got to publish.”

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.