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Feeding the Beast

A Wall Street Journal article reports that Pfizer is talking about acquiring rival Wyeth for $68 billion in the largest pharmaceutical deal in nearly a decade. The blogosphere is abuzz, mostly with negative feedback. Derek Lowe has written two posts, one at In the Pipeline and another at The Atlantic's blog. With its patent on Lipitor running out soon, Pfizer will have to be quick to get some new drugs in the pipeline. Hence, the latest buyout -- a recurring pattern, Lowe says. "So the fear, among scientists like me, is that Pfizer is going to take another productive research organization, raid it for what it considers to be of immediate value, fire a lot of people, and then take the rest and do whatever it is they do to them to Pfizerize their productivity. And then in a few years, they'll do it again."

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.