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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

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.