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The State of Sequencing

Art Wuster at Seqonomics ponders the state of sequencing in Japan. "Considering that Japan is one of the world's most important scientific nations, its DNA sequencing capacity is surprisingly low," Wuster writes. "There are more sequencing machines in the Netherlands or in Spain, both of which spend only a fraction of what Japan does on research and development." He suggests that a recent "lack of growth in the biotechnology and medical sectors, combined with a scarcity of public funding for genomics," are to blame for this.

But the outlook is not all bleak, he adds, as Japan's "Hokkaido System Science, a company that provides DNA synthesis and sequencing services, is flourishing and aims to expand internationally. And then there is of course Riken, Japan's flagship natural sciences research institute, whose impressive infrastructure includes ten next generation sequencers."

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.