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Hiding Under Your Desk May Help

Derek Lowe has two items worth reading -- start with this article in The Atlantic, where he offers a good description of the layoff situation in pharma (with a particular focus on the recent Pfizer/Wyeth and Merck/Schering-Plough mergers). "Research scientists in the drug business are going through what may be their worst and most uncertain period ever," he writes. "The real problem is the same as it's been for some years now: we're not producing enough good new drugs, and we're spending too much money to discover the ones that we have."

In a blog post, Lowe says that pharma scientists shouldn't dwell in fear. "I think that, in the years to come, that people are most definitely going to need medicines. And by that, I mean new ones, because there are a lot of conditions out there that we can't treat very well," he adds.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.