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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

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.