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Oh, the Expectations

At Newsweek's Human Condition blog, Mary Carmichael delves into the business of genetics. She notes that a new paper in Nature Genetics on a gene mutation that increases bladder cancer risk is from researchers at Decode Genetics, which she notes has had a tough time of late with bankruptcy, a New England Journal of Medicine article calling the utility of one of its tests into question, and the New York Times pointing out that DecodeMe had fewer than 10,000 customers. Plus, she adds, the recent Myriad patent ruling may affect throws Decode's own patents. "It's tempting to read the last few weeks (and Decode's entire history) as evidence that genetics makes for great basic science and lousy business models, given how many technical and legal roadblocks a company can run into in the course of doing good research," she writes, though later adds that "maybe biotech investors — and the rest of us who bought into the hype that genetics would cure all our ills within a decade or so — just need to lower their expectations and stop demanding major progress on a timeline that's too short for science."

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.