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Sequencers and Tanks

From his updated map of sequencers, Nick Loman says that Illumina machines are still dominant — making up 60 percent of his sample — but that the race for second place is close. Roche, he says, has just nudged out SOLiD by eight machines. (His Google map can be seen here.) To get a better estimate of what sequencers are out there, Loman is kicking off "the great high-throughput sequencing serial number challenge," taking inspiration from a statistical approach used by the British during World War II to estimate the number of German tanks through serial numbers. If those serial numbers are continuous, then a better guess at the number of tanks, or sequencers, can be made. At Genetic Future, Daniel MacArthur calls it a "fiendish plan." He adds: "There are certainly a number of ways in which such estimates can prove inaccurate — but as Loman says, it's still worth doing the experiment."

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.