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The Biotech Maturation

Despite the financial crisis, industrial biotechnology "is taking off," writes The Economist. This sector is doing well, the article says, because the technology has matured beyond the laboratory stage and large corporations are beginning to take advantage of it. Indeed, a few startups that are now being backed by larger firms: Royal Dutch Shell has invested in Codexis and the French oil company Total is backing Amyris. "We're not just dealing with vats any more," says Volkert Claassen of Royal DSM.

A related article looks into the entwinement of biofuels and ethanol — "With a viable new biofuel yet to emerge, lobbyists are still pushing to support the old one," it says. Ethanol advocates want to extend US tariffs on ethanol imports and a tax credit that are set to expire at the end of the year. "Between 2005 and 2009 the tax credit for blending petrol with ethanol cost $17 billion. This year it will cost some $5.4 billion," the article says. "Surely the money could be better spent somewhere else."

The Scan

Not Kept "Clean and Sanitary"

A Food and Drug Administration inspection uncovered problems with cross contamination at an Emergent BioSolutions facility, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Resumption Recommendation Expected

The Washington Post reports that US officials are expected to give the go-ahead to resume using Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Canada's New Budget on Science

Science writes that Canada's new budget includes funding for the life sciences, but not as much as hoped for investigator-driven research.

Nature Papers Examine Single-Cell, Multi-Omic SARS-CoV-2 Response; Flatfish Sequences; More

In Nature this week: single-cell, multi-omics analysis provides insight into COVID-19 pathogenesis, evolution of flatfish, and more.