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On the Decline

The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog has put together a chart of R&D spending by US drug companies — a related article in the paper said that R&D fell in 2009 by 3.8 percent to $382.6 billion. Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson's spending dropped by 10.8 and 12.7 percent, respectively while the other companies showed gains in spending. For 2010, R&D funding is expected to rise, but the Health Blog warns that the numbers don't give the full picture. "For example, Pfizer's R&D spending may climb next year because of the Wyeth acquisition, but continuing cuts could mean the company's R&D spending is lower than this year's combined R&D spending for Pfizer and Wyeth," the blog says.

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.