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Supply and Demand

Technical issues, regulatory hurdles, societal stagnancy. All three of these pose a threat to the advancement of personalized medicine. But perhaps the greatest issue, according to Xconomy's Luke Timmerman, is a lack of sufficient samples.

"Samples — everything from tumor biopsies to blood and urine to feces and saliva — are the crucial raw material that goes into the whiz-bang science of seeking diagnostic answers," he says, "Microscopes, real-time PCR machines, next-generation gene sequencers — they all depend on high-quality samples."

And Timmerman says anecdotal evidence from investors and entrepreneurs suggests that there are just not enough high-quality samples to support the research necessary to move personalized medicine forward.

"Like many other things in life, this is really about supply and demand," he adds. "The supply of good samples is short, and the demand is increasing."

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.