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Sample Size and the Need for Power

Requiring conventional sample size calculations might be an impediment to completing translational or early clinical studies, write Peter Bacchetti and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, in a Perspectives article in Science Translational Medicine. "There is little theoretical or empirical support for the conventional requirement that every study must have at least 80% power," the authors write. Instead, they prose a few alternatives: the "value of information" approach, a method based on estimating the effect and confidence intervals, and one that evaluates the cost and return of increasing the sample size. "Practical considerations, including the costs of larger versus smaller sample sizes, inevitably drive sample size choices, and the reality of diminishing marginal returns implies that this is scientifically valid," the authors add.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.