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Who's Getting the Patents?

Women are underrepresented on biomedical patents, New Scientist reports, noting that this, in turn, may lead to fewer tools that address issues affecting women.

An international team of researchers analyzed biomedical patents filed in the US between 1976 and 2010 to determine the gender of the inventors and whether the invention was aimed at the medical needs of men or women. As they report in Science, the researchers found that inventions developed by women are more likely to address an issue faced by women – they estimate inventor teams that are a majority of women are 6 percent less likely to invent for men and 18.5 percent more likely to invent for women.

But because there are more male patent-holders overall, the researchers note that the field is skewed toward men's health. They found that while the number of women-invented biomedical patents increased between 1976 and 2010, there were 3,014 inventions from female-majority teams in 2010, which is still fewer than the 3,347 inventions by men in 1976.

"We know there's just a lot of sexism in society," first author Rembrandt Koning from Harvard University tells New Scientist. "And we know that women face barriers just becoming scientists, and they face barriers when commercializing their ideas."

The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.