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O Canada

Are you a Canadian scientist? Are you considering patenting an invention? "You might want to move to Switzerland," says Paul Krzyzanowski on the Stem Cell Network Blog. A recent article in Toronto's Globe and Mail compared Canada's patenting activity to that of other countries — Switzerland led the world with 120 patents issued per million people in 2007, and Japan trailed close behind with 118 per million people. The United States and Canada came in with 40 patents per million people and 20 patents per million people, respectively, the Globe and Mail reports. "In other words, when examining all industries together, the Swiss are six times as productive as Canadians in terms of patents per person," Krzyzanowski says. "This data presents a sobering reality for Canada. While it's very unlikely that Canada will ever lead the world based on volumes of patents, we're clearly lagging." Additionally, while Canadian biotechnology patent volume was above average, the intellectual property is considered to be "of lower technological importance on a global level," he adds. The report also showed a "disconnect" between discovery and commercialization. "There is still a vision to continue developing Canada as a major exporter of intellectual property with the necessary infrastructure being streamlined, but a strong culture of commercialization and entrepreneurship is critical to make things move as well," Krzyzanowski says. "Maybe we need to take a lesson or two from the Swiss."

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.