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How to Avoid Being Outsourced

At In the Pipeline, Derek Lowe makes a good point about the current state of outsourcing large-scale chemical production work to today's cheaper economies, like China and India:  it's not going to go away and medicinal chemists need to start expanding their idea of what it means to be a good drug discoverer. Generating ideas, doing harder chemistry, and offering top-notch communication and collaboration skills are part of it, he says. GSK and other big pharma might take note, as an article in Nature today describes the attempts of behemoth drug makers to downsize research departments to smaller, biotech-like groups and outsource R&D to CROs. "Regardless of which model is taken, it is clear that the future will hold more lay-offs," says the article.

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.