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Making the Match

A soon-to-launch service from a company called GenePeeks is to use microarrays to examine the genomes of both sperm bank clients and donors to uncover possible genetic disease risk, reports MIT's Technology Review. Tech Review notes that sperm bank donors currently are screened for a few genetic diseases, like cystic fibrosis, but GenePeeks aims to look at a wider swath. The service, it adds, doesn't aim "to find the perfect match for a sperm-bank client, but to rule out potentially risky matches."

The company was founded after CEO Anne Morriss's personal experience — her son, who was conceived with a sperm donor, has a genetic condition. She happened to have one defective copy of the gene causing it, as did the sperm donor she chose.

Morriss tells Tech Review that she wants the service to be affordable and cost less than $1,000. "We want to make it accessible," she says. "That's why we are working with [microarray] technology."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.