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Grail

In a training subset of the larger cohort, the company was able to develop classifiers that detected many cancers while minimizing false positives.

The firm plans to launch a nasopharyngeal carcinoma test in Asia this year and is developing breast cancer tests to supplement mammograms.

Technologies gained one of their first solid footholds in the clinical care of cancer patients with adoption into the treatment paradigm of lung cancer, while researchers turned their eyes to proving utility in other niches.

There were fewer mergers and acquisitions in the omics space in 2017, breaking a two-year streak of growth — however, the deals themselves stayed fairly large.

Using Epstein-Barr virus DNA as a marker, investigators uncovered several individuals with early-stage nasopharyngeal cancers in a large screening effort in China.

Cloud Ready

CNBC reports that Amazon invested in the startup Grail as it sees an opportunity for its cloud computing company in genomics.

Though researchers highlighted their goal of using the method to move toward a test to detect early cancers, their current data speaks only to the method's performance in late-stage cancer patients.

Cirina will operate as a subsidiary of Grail and the combined entity will collaborate with Dennis Lo's lab at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 

Grail plans to enroll up to 120,000 women who have been screened via mammogram, to train and validate its NGS-based early detection cancer test.

Giant platelets on a blood smear

The approach, dubbed ThromboSeq, enables clinical researchers to identify different cancer types by looking at tumor-educated, platelet-derived RNA using RNA-seq.

Pages

In a letter, about two dozen researchers criticize the World Health Organization investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and call for a new inquiry, the Wall Street Journal reports.

National Geographic reports that nine great apes at the San Diego Zoo have been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.

Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, speaks with NPR about SARS-CoV-2 testing and vaccines in the US.

In Science this week: genetic study of kidney fibrosis implicates the SOX9-NAV3-YAP1 axis.