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Contract It Out

Contract research organizations are proliferating, reports The Scientist. That market grew to $20 billion last year, compared to $15 billion the year before. Instead of contracting out work on single projects, entire programs have been outsourced, says Quintiles Transnational's Ronald Wooten. Covance's John Watson adds that "with all the [recent budgetary] pressure that the larger pharmaceutical companies are under, there's been a shift to more strategic outsourcing," meaning that CROs are now becoming more like collaborators.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.