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On Patents

There is little evidence for all the concern over gene patents hurting basic biomedical research, writes Timothy Caulfield at Science Progress. Caulfield, who studies health law and policy at the University of Alberta, says the justification makes logical sense and has some anecdotal evidence, but there is a lack of hard data. Furthermore, he says this debate overshadows the effect that "commercialization pressure" has on academic research. Namely, he says that the involvement of industry limits collaboration and data-sharing and can lead to distorted research and the release of technologies before they are ready.

The Scan

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.

Tibetan Study Finds Adaptive Variant Influencing Skin Pigmentation

With a combination of phenotyping and genetic data, researchers document at PNAS a Tibetan-enriched enhancer variant influencing melanin synthesis and ultraviolet light response.

Domestication Linked to Nervous System Genes in Inbred Mouse Strains

Researchers highlighted more than 300 positively selected genes in domesticated mice, including genes linked to nervous system function or behavior in Genome Biology.

ALS Genetic Testing May Be Informative Across Age Ranges, Study Finds

Researchers in the journal Brain identified clinically actionable variants in a significant subset of older ALS patients, prompting them to point to the potential benefits of broader test use.