The Genomic Revolution: Why Investors Are Paying Attention
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The Genomic Revolution: Why Investors Are Paying Attention

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The following content is sponsored by MSCI.

The Genomic Revolution: Why Investors Are Paying Attention

At the center of the genomic revolution is big data and DNA.

The implications are vast. With recent advancements, faster cancer detection is within reach, potentially saving thousands of lives each year. An initial research study shows this technology could save 66,000 live annually in the U.S. alone.

What’s more, genomic innovation goes beyond just cancer detection. Today it spans a variety of innovations, from gene editing to anti-cancer drugs.

In this graphic from MSCI, we look at four reasons why the genomics sector is positioned for growth thanks to powerful applications in medicine.

What is the Genomic Revolution?

To start, the genomic revolution focuses on the study of the human genome, a human (or organism’s) complete set of DNA.

A human consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes and 24,000 genes. Taken together, the human genetic code equals three billion DNA letters. Since most ailments have a link to our genetic condition, genomics involves the editing, mapping, and function of a genome.

With genomic innovation, large-scale applications of diagnostics and decision-making tools are made possible for a wide range of diseases.

4 Ways the Genomic Revolution is Changing Medicine

Over the last century, the field of genomics has advanced faster than any other life sciences discipline.

The hallmark achievement is the Human Genome Project completed in 2001. Since then, scientists have analyzed thousands of people’s genes to identify the cause of heart disease, cancer, and other fatal afflictions.

Here are four areas where genomic innovation is making a big difference in the medical field.

1. Gene Editing

Gene editing enables scientists to alter someone’s DNA, such as eye color. Broadly speaking, gene editing involves cutting DNA at a certain point and adding to, removing, or replacing this DNA.

For instance, gene editing enables living drugs. As the name suggests, living drugs are made from living organisms that harness a body’s immune system or other bodily process, and uses them to fight disease.

Based on analysis from ARK Invest, living drugs have a potential $200 billion addressable market.

2. Cancer Detection

Multi-cancer screening, supported by genomic sequencing and liquid biopsies, is projected to prevent more deaths from cancer than any other medical innovation.

Through a single blood test, multiple types of cancer can be detected early through synthetic biology advancements. Scientists use genomic sequencing (also referred to as DNA sequencing) to identify the genetic makeup of an organism, or a change in a gene which may lead to cancer.

Critically, screening costs are dropping rapidly, from $30,000 in 2015 to $1,500 in 2021. The combination of these factors is spurring a potential $150 billion market. This could be revolutionary for healthcare by shifting from a treatment-based model to a more preventative one in the future.

3. DNA Sequencing

One modern form of DNA sequencing is long-read DNA sequencing. With long-read DNA sequencing, scientists can identify genetic sequences faster and more affordably.

For these reasons, long-read DNA sequencing is projected to grow to a $5 billion market, growing at a 82% annual rate.

4. Agricultural Biology

Finally, the genomic revolution is making strides in agricultural biology. Here, research is looking at how to reduce the cost of producing crops, improving plant breeding, and enhancing quality.

One study shows that genomic advances in agriculture have led to six-fold increases in income for some farmers.

Investing in the Genomic Revolution

A number of genomic-focused companies have shown promising returns.

This can be illustrated by the MSCI ACWI Genomic Innovation Index, which has outperformed the benchmark by nearly 50% since 2013. The index, which was developed with ARK Invest, comprises roughly 250 companies who are working in the field of genomic innovation. In 2020 alone, the index returned over 43%.

From diagnostics to prevention, the genomic revolution is breaking ground in scalable solutions for global health. Investment opportunities are expected to follow.

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A Breakdown of Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

Do you know where your money goes? From travel to gas, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category.

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Credit Card Spending

Americans’ Monthly Credit Card Spending

If you were fortunate enough to keep your job during the pandemic, you probably noticed a financial benefit: you spent less. Amid restrictions, credit card spending on fun activities—like going out for dinner—became less frequent.

Looking ahead, the majority of Americans plan to continue at least one budget change post-pandemic, including eating out less (49%), buying fewer clothes and shoes (41%), and traveling less (37%). Of course, the first step in budgeting is tracking where your money is going.

In the above graphic from Personal Capital, we break down Americans’ monthly credit card spending by category. It’s the first in a three-part series that will explore the spending and saving of Americans.

Behind the Numbers

Credit card spending is based on anonymized data from Personal Capital users, who tend to have a higher-than-average net worth. For this particular subset of users, people had an average net worth of $1.3 million and a median net worth of $405,000. Therefore, the credit card spending amounts may be higher than those of the general U.S. population.

It’s also worth noting that the data reflects credit card spending only. It does not include expenses such as mortgage or rental payments, which are typically paid through other methods.

Credit Card Spending by Category

Here’s a breakdown of monthly credit card spending, based on averaged data from November 2020 to October 2021.

CategoryMonthly Spend% of Monthly Spend
Travel$82216.9%
General Merchandise$81516.7%
Restaurants$56711.6%
Groceries$56211.5%
Clothing/Shoes$52210.7%
Home Improvement$51910.7%
Healthcare$3587.4%
Online Services$3316.8%
Entertainment$2104.3%
Gas$1683.4%
Total$4,874100.0%

Users with no transactions in a particular category were excluded from the average spending amounts. Data is statistically weighted by age to ensure accurate and reliable representation of the total U.S. population, 20 years of age and older.

As border restrictions ease, Americans are spending the most on travel. In fact, 83% of Americans say they are excited to plan a trip in a post-pandemic world. The most popular merchant within travel is Airbnb, followed by airlines such as Delta and United as air travel recovers from its pandemic slump. However, this recovery could be in jeopardy amid fresh concerns over the Omicron variant.

Travel is closely followed by general merchandise, at places like Amazon, Costco, Walmart, and Target. Monthly spending in this category has averaged at $815 over the last year. Of course, this could climb even higher near year-end due to the holiday spending boom typically seen in the U.S. every year.

On the other hand, Americans spend the least on online services (such as Google and Facebook), entertainment, and gas. Though the average monthly spending on gas was the lowest of all categories, it increased by 60% from November 2020 to October 2021. This is likely due to gas being one of the categories hit hardest by inflation, along with increased travel.

Turning Reduced Spending Into Savings

With the swipe of a credit card, it can be easy to underestimate how quickly eating out and online shopping add up. However, by taking a closer look at your credit card spending, you can get a sense of where your money is going.

Like most Americans, you may also decide to carry over at least one budget change post-pandemic. What do Americans want to do with the extra cash? Over half plan to put it towards savings, and 16% aim to contribute more to retirement savings or investments.

In Part 2 of the Americans’ Spending and Saving series, we’ll break down Americans’ financial assets by age.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

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Copper’s Essential Role in Protecting Public Health

Every day, high-touch surfaces present health risks to people in public spaces, and especially the most vulnerable in healthcare. In fact, of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, seven will get at least one healthcare-acquired or “hospital infection”.

With naturally antimicrobial properties, copper can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure and slow the spread of diseases.

In this infographic from our sponsor Teck, we explore copper’s bacteria-fighting abilities and its crucial role in public health.

How Copper Kills Bacteria

Due to its powerful antimicrobial properties, copper kills bacteria in sequential steps:

  • First, copper ions on the surface are recognized by the bacteria as an essential nutrient and enter cell.
  • Then, a lethal dose of copper ions interferes with normal cell functions.
  • Finally, the copper binds to the enzymes, impeding the cell from breathing, eating, digesting, or creating energy.

This rapid killing mechanism prevents cells from replicating on copper surfaces and significantly reduces the amount of bacteria living on the surface.

Antimicrobial copper is effective against bacteria that causes common diseases like staph infections and E. coli that causes foodborne illness. The metal continuously kills bacteria and never wears out.

Besides bacteria, researchers are currently studying copper’s impacts on the virus that causes COVID-19. A previous study suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was completely destroyed within four hours on copper surfaces, as compared to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Pre-pandemic studies also demonstrated copper’s ability to kill other coronaviruses.

The Applications of Antimicrobial Copper

Institutions around the world have already deployed antimicrobial copper solutions relating to hospitals, fitness centers, mass transit systems, schools, professional sports teams, office buildings, restaurants, and more.

To date, antimicrobial copper has been installed in more than 300 healthcare facilities around the world. Taking the reduced costs of shorter patient stay and treatment into consideration, the payback time for installing copper fittings is only two months, according to an independent study by the University of York’s Health Economics Consortium.

In Canada, Teck has worked with its partners to install antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch surfaces in hospitals, educational buildings and transit.

The Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings have installed antimicrobial copper surfaces in their strength and training facility in California. Furthermore, over 50 water bottle filling stations made from antimicrobial copper can also be found throughout the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

Copper’s Role in Public Health

While many hospitals and other institutions are already using copper fittings, others are still not aware of its impactful properties.

As awareness increases, copper can become a simple but effective material to help control the spread of infections.

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