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George, Craig, and Freeman Walk into a Bar ...

Blaine Bettinger has a post on his blog today about a high-minded meeting that took place a few weeks ago. Called the Annual Edge Event (organized by the Edge Foundation), the meeting hosted George Church, Freeman Dyson, J. Craig Venter, Robert Shapiro, Dimitar Sasselov, and Seth Lloyd to discuss the topic "Life: What a Concept!"

While GTO wishes we could've been a fly on the wall for the actual event, we'll have to satisfy ourselves by seeing the talks and reading summaries online. Bettinger especially liked Church's session: "Although Dr. Church doesn’t discuss the Personal Genome Project, his brief discussion about our past and our future is very interesting," he writes.

 

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.