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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.