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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.