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The Great Patent Debate

At Science Progress, Timothy Caulfield discusses whether gene patents hurt research. He says that his studies "revealed lots of researcher concern about gene patents, but little evidence that they are actually having a detrimental impact on the research environment." Still, Caulfield calls for better, more robust studies of the benefits and harms of patents on research. "This will allow for a more informed debate on the fundamental patent tradeoff: that is, the granting of a limited-term monopoly for the benefit of society," he says.

HT: Patent Docs

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.