Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Mixed Reaction

Microsoft is acquiring GitHub, a site widely used by researchers to share datasets and software code, Nature News reports. It adds that this $7.5 billion deal has evoked a mixed reaction among researchers.

GitHub relies on Git, a system developed by Linux's Linus Torvalds for tracking software code changes, the Economist says. GitHub then further enables collaboration by allowing comments and discussions to be stored alongside the source code as well as by having developers use "pull requests" to suggest changes that can be reviewed by others, it adds. This, it says, has made GitHub the "de facto home of open-source software."

Nature News says some researchers and developers are nervous about its acquisition by Microsoft, as they note the company has been slow to make its tools open-source and are concern it could change the GitHub model.

"While I trust that Microsoft plans to take good care of the GitHub product itself, I am worried about what ways they may try to monetize all the data they now have about how developers work and relate to each other, how software projects are built and maintained," Kyle Simpson, a JavaScript author and trainer, tells the Verge.

Others, though, say having Microsoft's resources at hand could increase the number of users, Nature News adds.

In a blog post, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the company is "committed to being stewards of the GitHub community, which will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. 

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.