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Being Able to Walk Away

"What does it take for a new technology to catch on in the labs?" Derek Lowe asks at In the Pipeline. First, he says that it has to actually be useful; secondly, it shouldn't be "useful but annoying." For that latter category, Lowe says that automation is often the driving factor, and that signs of failure include lack of automation or poorly designed automation. Good automation, he adds, allows the user to put in the samples "and walk away." "That phrase 'and walk away' is the key idea behind good lab automation. You shouldn't have to stand in front of a machine to make sure that it's going to do what it's supposed to," Lowe blogs.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.