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A Leaner Merck Says, 'So Long, Seattle'

At In the Pipeline, Derek Lowe blogs about Merck's layoff announcement (about 10 percent of employees, or some 7,000 positions, if you missed the news) and how the approach differs from layoffs at Pfizer, GSK, and other pharmas. "The company doesn't seem to be exiting any one therapeutic area, as Pfizer has, or rearranging their whole R&D structure the way GSK is doing. Merck just seems to be thinning things out across the whole organization," Lowe writes. More than half the layoffs will affect employees outside the US.

Perhaps most interesting to this community: Lowe notes that Merck's Seattle group will be shut down as part of the layoffs. That was the site for the Rosetta Inpharmatics unit, as well as some RNAi and microarray research. According to this news article, many of the Seattle staffers will be offered positions in Boston.


The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.