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Patents, Patents Everywhere

The US Patent and Trademark Office is holding two hearings — one this week and other in March — to gather information on "independent second opinion genetic diagnostic testing" on genes that are already patented or exclusively licensed by other companies, reports Patent Docs' Donald Zuhn. USPTO is planning to gather the information it receives from the hearings and make a report to Congress. The panel will also see a video from Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who introduced an amendment to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act for patent reform "that would have exempted from infringement a 'genetic diagnostic tester's performance of a confirming generic diagnostic test activity' that would otherwise constitute infringement" under the act, Zuhn says. The Leahy-Smith Act was passed in 2011, but without Wasserman Schultz's amendment, he adds.

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.