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Testing Interest Piqued

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of rapid at-home or point-of-care diagnostic tests, the Verge reports.

It writes that before the pandemic, a number of companies and academic research labs were interested in developing rapid molecular tests, but that their work was in early stages or ran up against limited interest from larger companies that were needed to take testing to the next level. But with the pandemic, interest in rapid testing skyrocketed, the Verge adds, noting that there has been increased funding from the US National Institutes of Health and that the Food and Drug Administration was allowing tests under Emergency Use Authorizations.

As the Verge adds, FDA authorized tests from Cepheid and Abbott as well as other tests from Cue Health, Lucira Health, and Visby Medical.

The next question, the Verge says, is whether that attention and investment will last. Adam de la Zerda, founder and CEO of Visby, Zerda tells it that further investment could better prepare the US for future viral threats. "If we had access to these tests in high volumes [at the start of the pandemic], we probably would be in a very different position right now," he says.

The Scan

Rare Genetic Disease Partnership

A public-private partnership plans to speed the development of gene therapies for rare genetic diseases, Stat News writes.

Approval Sought for Alzheimer's Drug

The Wall Street Journal reports Eli Lilly has initiated a rolling submission to the US Food and Drug Administration to seek approval for its drug to treat Alzheimer's disease.

DNA Barcoding Paper Retracted

Science reports that a 2014 DNA barcoding paper was retracted after a co-author brought up data validity concerns.

Nature Papers Present Genomic Analysis of Bronze Age Mummies, Approach to Study Host-Pathogen Interactions

In Nature this week: analysis finds Tarim mummies had local genetic origin, and more.