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Is consumer DNA testing a good business? Are Covid-19 vaccines interchangeable? And how do you IQ-test an artificial intelligence?

We discuss all that and more this week on “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. First, we recap a busy week of news, featuring 23andMe’s move to go public through a blank-check company, Merck CEO Ken Frazier’s retirement after three decades at the drug maker, and how the future of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s disease drug got a little more complicated. Then, Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, joins us to weigh in on the bounty of recent Covid-19 vaccine data from Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, and AstraZeneca. Finally, STAT’s Casey Ross calls in to discuss his investigation into the FDA’s chaotic approach to approving medical products that use artificial intelligence.


For more on what we cover, here’s the news on 23andMe; here’s more on Frazier; here’s the FDA investigation; and here’s our complete coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

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And if you have any feedback for us — topics to cover, guests to invite, vocal tics to cease — you can email [email protected].


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