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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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Politico notes that the Biden Administration has not yet nominated a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner. 

Anthony Fauci also informed the World Health Organization executive board that the US would be joining the COVAX initiative, according to CNBC.

A new preprint suggests some SARS-CoV-2 variants could affect the effectiveness of current vaccines, the Associated Press reports.

In Nature this week: Australian lungfish provides details on the movement of vertebrate life from water to land, and more.