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Comfort of Home

AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes, according to the Guardian.

The hope, it adds, that at-home trials will boost the diversity of people involved in clinical trials.

AstraZeneca previously interviewed patients about barriers to participating in trials, it notes. "The feedback was mainly that it was very burdensome for patients to participate, because it did require for them to travel to a hospital or site [and] to spend quite a significant number of hours at that site," AstraZeneca's Cristina Durán tells the Guardian.

The Guardian adds that concerns have recently been raised about the lack of diversity in clinical trials and how that may affect how well drugs and medical devices work in underrepresented populations.

According to the BBC, Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, says there likely is racial bias affecting some medical devices. "And the reason is that a lot of these medical devices, even some of the drugs, some of the procedures, some of the textbooks, most of them are put together in majority white countries and I think this is a systemic issue around this," he tells it. The BBC adds that he has announced a review of bias in medical devices and systemic racism in medicine.

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.