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Order Your Genes Online

This New York Times article discusses the "biofab" companies that are popping up to synthesize genes for pharma or academic scientists. The cost per base pair has dropped below a dollar and sales of oligos are estimated to be about $700 million a year, though some say that number is a bit high. The emerging field of synthetic biology may present an opportunity for these foundries, but according to the news story, some companies aren't looking in that direction for fear of losing public trust.

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.