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Battle? Won. War? Still Being Fought

Myriad Genetics won a significant victory last month when an appeals court upheld the company's gene patents. But now, The New York Times' Andrew Pollack says, the real battle starts for Myriad. Some experts say the company's test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is "technologically outmoded, incomplete and too costly," Pollack reports. The University of Washington's Mary-Claire King, who led the team that discovered the BRCA mutations, tells Pollack that "science has moved beyond what these folks do," and that patients and their doctors need the most up-to-date information to make treatment decisions. Newer DNA sequencing techniques are faster and cheaper than the technology Myriad uses, and soon, Pollack adds, it may be cheaper to sequence an entire genome than to use Myriad's test. For its part, Myriad says it is prepared for the challenge. The company's major patents begin to expire in 2014, though Myriad says its patent protection should last until about 2018, and the company's executives say that will give them time to adapt to new technologies and diversify beyond the BRCA test.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.