Editorials

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  • The pangenome provides a first glimpse of the scope of human genetic diversity. But its routine adoption into research and clinical practice faces several challenges.

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  • The biotech sector must devote more resources to cybersecurity — especially those companies that are manufacturers of essential medical products.

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  • After over a decade of experience with immune checkpoint inhibitors in oncology, more effort needs to be spent unraveling why some patients respond — and why the majority do not — and integrating knowledge about biomarkers into patient selection in trials.

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  • Interest is growing in genome-editing tools that can insert large chunks of DNA into the genome — and avoid the double-strand breaks associated with CRISPR–Cas9 genotoxicity.

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  • Two upcoming regulatory decisions represent a tipping point for commercial gene therapy, with implications for work on existing viral vectors and the pursuit of new ones.

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  • The Broad Institute’s enlightened licensing approach to CRISPR–Cas9 intellectual property stands out in the otherwise regrettable spat for patent rights over the foundational technology.

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  • For the raft of new ventures developing epigenome editors, a compelling niche may be diseases of haploinsufficiency or genome imprinting that require exquisite control of gene expression.

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  • Advances in technology and changes to healthcare during the pandemic may finally realize the vision of patient-centric blood testing espoused by disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

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  • Outrage over the cost of insulin is driving drug-pricing reform. Industry must do more to support patients dealing with spiraling out-of-pocket costs for biotech medicines.

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  • With supply-chain shortages and production problems exacerbating vaccine inequity, global manufacturing must expand to ensure the world’s poorest nations are better served.

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  • Our new podcast series ‘Hope Lies in Dreams’ highlights the importance of visionaries in shepherding drugs through the setbacks of drug development to commercial success.

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  • The Sequencing Quality Control 2 (SEQC2/MAQC-IV) project provides resources to aid sequencing reproducibility and highlights factors that can guide platform and software choice.

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  • The International Society for Stem Cell Research has called for broad public dialogue on the ethics of human embryo research beyond 14 days post-fertilization. National jurisdictions should seize the moment.

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  • An Alzheimer’s drug approval is being touted as a triumph for patients. But US healthcare is ill prepared for Aduhelm’s questionable efficacy, unfettered market access and high price.

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  • New initiatives in N-of-1 drug development and clinical trial design offer the possibility of therapies for ultra-rare disease patients who have been long neglected by the drug industry.

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  • To keep ahead of an increasing number of SARS-CoV-2 variants, pathogen surveillance and testing must become a joined-up global, rather than local, endeavor.

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  • The US RADx program has spawned a phalanx of diagnostic products to market in just 12 months. Its long-term impact on point-of-care, at-home and population testing may be even more profound.

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  • Since this journal launched in March 1996, biotech has become a US economic powerhouse. To reach its full potential over the next 25 years, touching all corners of the globe, it must become more inclusive.

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