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PacBio RS Takes Top Honors

The Scientist put Jonathon Rothberg, Amy Caudy, Neil Kelleher, and H. Steven Wiley (who serves on the magazine's editorial board) to the task of judging the 60 entries it received as part of its annual Top 10 Innovations competition, which highlights tools and techniques that "have the potential to simplify and streamline work in biology labs." The judges rated Pacific Biosciences' third-generation sequencer the most influential innovation of the year. Rothberg calls the PacBio RS a "true technical tour de force" based on "seductive technology." Rothberg et al. awarded second-place honors to Sigma Aldrich for its custom-made cell lines, which, according to Caudy, will bring "the power of zinc finger technology to the masses." EMD Millipore earned third place for its Scepter Handheld Automated Cell Counter, which the company claims "takes the tedium" out of cell counting. Diffinity Genomics' RapidTip and Cellular Dynamics International's iCell Cardiomyocytes — "heart cells on demand," The Scientist says — round out the top five. Check out the entire top 10 list, here.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.