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Patients over Profits

Candid Engineer in Academia says that when she discovered that "instead of taking a novel approach to science for the sake of novelty, there are people who take a novel approach for the sake of patent potential," she was a bit discouraged. However, upon receiving her first royalty check and fully considering its implications, Candid Engineer says she realized that "not all patent-hungry scientists are money-hungry scientists" — rather, most are motivated to improve patient care. The blogger notes that in order to translate basic discoveries made at the bench to tangible benefits at the bedside, "the science must be patentable" so as to attract industry licensing and uptake. Candid Engineer now says she's "fortunate to be at a university that is patent-happy," staffed with technology transfer specialists and attorneys, as it "drastically improves the chances of our academic inventions being picked up by biotech companies."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.