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Price? Cost? Whatever...

Mike the Mad Biologist came across a Nature Reviews Genetics article that says that hundreds of gigabases of sequencing data can be generated in a week "for less than US$5,000." Mike says could be true, with a lot of caveats. Buying a machine, he says, would be at least $500,000 and, if amortized over about two years, that could come out to be about $5,000 per 200Gb. In addition there's the cost of paying people to run those machines, which he arbitrarily puts at $150,000 per year for two people. "I'm willing to go along with the costs of reagents plus minimal ancillary costs, such as electricity, running around $5,000. Maybe," Mike says. "And if that's all you have to write your purchase or billing order for, then the price of sequencing is around $5,000. But the cost, including the externalized costs, is much more."

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.