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Work Smarter, Not Harder

Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, Outliers, is the inspiration for a blog post at In the Pipeline. Derek Lowe wonders if Gladwell's "10,000 hour rule," the idea that many people who are extremely good at a given task have spent at least that long perfecting their skills, can be applied to science, and drug discovery in particular. When it comes to science, says Lowe, referring to a review of the book, practicing an art is different from pipetting mindlessly for four years because, well, that's part of logging hours in the lab, too. Which category does drug design fit into? "I think that the fundamental issues of drug design are still so poorly understood that no amount of skill can compensate for them," Lowe says. "It would be a fine thing if ten thousand hours of hard work and practice allowed someone to come in and make nontoxic molecules, but they often have to be discovered by trial and error, and more of the latter."

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.