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Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline has a retrospective on "the genomics craze in the drug industry," which he says hit its peak 10 years ago. "The big splash of cold water, at least as I remember it, was when the Human Genome Project folks announced the total number of human genes, and it came in way below what some people had been estimating – like, ten times less," he writes. "If you added up all the genes that people had claimed to have filed [patent] applications on up until then, it was well in excess of the number of genes that turned out to actually exist."

Over at Omics! Omics!, Keith Robison follows up on Lowe's theme with his own memories of the early-days genomics bubble. He also recalls the patenting frenzy from his time at Millennium: "Nobody knew what would stand up as a patent -- but there were instructive examples from the early biotech era of business plans sunk by a loss of [freedom to operate] -- and expensive lawsuits that clearly marked that loss," he notes. "So the patenting engine took off -- an expensive insurance policy against an unpredictable future."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.