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We Still Have an Abacus Here

Thomas Mailund rounds up and adds to the discussion of whether biologists should learn how to program. Earlier in the week, John Hawks wondered if a new program from Wolfram, Alpha, eventually will make bioinformatics obsolete and replace the work of many of today's graduate students, leading him to ask what today's graduate students should be learning. Daniel MacArthur responds that such tools lag behind the science and so if a young scientist wants to be at the cutting edge, knowing informatics is a must and it'll help that scientist learn "how to think about large-scale biological data." Mailund concurs, adding, "Just because we now have very powerful calculators doesn't mean that it is a waste of time to study math."

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The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.