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A 'Scientific Marvel,' But a Commercial One?

Pacific Biosciences' sequencer has made it from idea to tangible product, with its recent shipments of its PacBio RS instrument — though this BusinessWeek article points out that sequencing has been, and will continue to be, a challenging field for a company to make its mark on. However, PacBio is hopeful about its sequencing technology. "The ability to observe these things in real time has been the goal of modern biology for the last 50 years," says CSO Eric Schadt. "PacBio is the only game in town for that type of work." BusinessWeek's Ashlee Vance writes that even competitors say that “the company has created a scientific marvel,” though they wonder about the commercial prospects of the RS. Those doubters, Vance adds, say that the company may be unrealistic about its "claims about shattering speed and cost barriers" and the prospect of the instrument becoming a niche product.

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.