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Wait, Backlog Is Bad?

In the Mercury News, US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke writes that the "patent system desperately needs to be reformed to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change and innovation," adding that "today's innovators are curing diseases and ensuring our safety — sorting through genetic code, developing nanotechnologies and vastly improving our quality of life." But the current process has led to a backlog of 800,000 applications.

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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have treated infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency using gene therapy in an early phase study.

Bloomberg reports that the DNA-for-cash deal reported in Kentucky might be a more widespread scam.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that some African Americans are turning to DNA ancestry testing to help guide genealogical searches.

In Nature this week: a genomic analysis of the snailfish Pseudoliparis swirei, ancient DNA analysis gives insight into the introduction of farming to England, and more.