|April 15, 2015|
Worm Meeting attendees—we are pleased to announce a new workshop for 2015: "Preparing your educational resources for online publication. " Co-sponsored by CourseSource, this workshop shows educators how to prepare their teaching resources for publication in an online repository. Please have your resource on-hand so that you can take advantage of the dedicated work time! Apply now for this exciting new workshop! Applications are due May 29.
GSA is preparing a response to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Request for Information on steps NIH could take to enhance the impact and sustainability of the research enterprise. We encourage GSA members in the US to respond to President Jasper Rine's message to share your thoughts, which will help inform the Society's response. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20.
Congratulations to the poster award winners at two recent GSA conferences!
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The GSA Journals
Spotlight on 2014 Research: From animal domestication to human genome variation, from loblolly genomes to lager genomes, from wild zebrafish sex to
How many recessive lethal mutations do humans carry? Estimates of the recessive deleterious allele burden in humans are typically based on the increased mortality in offspring of related couples. However, this approach is confounded by socioeconomic effects. In the April issue of GENETICS, Gao et al. instead used a catalogue of severe genetic diseases in a founder population with a communal lifestyle and a known pedigree that covers 13 generations and more than 1,500 living people. The results were covered by The Scientist and the University of Chicago's ScienceLife blog.
The Broad Institute's Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK) provides cutting-edge variant calling methods, but these methods are not readily applicable to
organisms lacking large, validated sets of known genetic variants. In the April issue of G3, McCormick et al. provide a
workflow for leveraging multiple types of genomic sequence data, including reduced representation and whole genome sequences, to take advantage of the
GATK. They demonstrate the advantages of the workflow using Sorghum bicolor and Arabidopsis data.
Included in this Issue:
in the News
Two GSA members were among those honored with the Canada Gairdner International Award, Canada's most prestigious medical award. The prize is bestowed upon biomedical scientists who have made original contributions to medicine resulting in increased understanding of human biology and disease. Congratulations to Michael N. Hall (Biozentrum, University of Basel) and Yoshinuri Ohsumi (Tokyo Institute of Technology)! [more...]
Education and Professional Development
Funding is available for teams of research and education faculty to develop intro bio lab class modules, thanks to NSF-funded "REIL-Biology." Apply now to receive travel funds to attend conference-associated workshops; applications are being accepted for workshops at Association of Biology Laboratory Education and Ecological Society of America meetings.
With the number of postdocs increasing and academic positions dwindling, what is the future of the postdoctoral system? Changes have been recommended by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) but do we have the will to implement them? Fifteen years ago, the NAS also made recommendations to improve the postdoc experience; however, their report resulted in very little change.
When transitioning from graduate school to a postdoc, how do you survive the Postdocalypse (or avoid it altogether)? The Chronicle of Higher Education's Vitae offers advice. One suggestion: don't defend until you have a postdoc lined up.
Did you know? GSA provides a trove of online career resources tailor-made for students, postdocs, and early career faculty!
Funding, Fellowships, and Awards
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a notice about potential delays in issuance of awards because of a software update between May 19 and June 3. During this time, activities related to new awards will be greatly restricted, though they do not anticipate payment interruption for previously-funded grants, nor do they anticipate downtime for the grants.gov submission system.
The National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) announced a request for information (RFI) about a potential new resource for protein expression. The RFI focuses on "types of expression issues that are hard for a single R01 laboratory to tackle...and strategies to use these resources to accelerate progress toward findings that are of both scientific and public health impact." Responses will be accepted until May 15, 2015.
A reminder that April 20 is the deadline to submit letters of intent for NIGMS' Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) program. Although such letters are not required and do not enter into the review itself, they help NIGMS to plan for the receipt of applications. The MIRA program, established to increase both the flexibility and stability of NIGMS investigators, is currently available to investigators with two or more R01-equivalent awards or $400,000 or more in direct costs who have at least one grant expiring in fiscal year 2016 or 2017. Full proposals are due on May 20.
If your institution is interested in developing a graduate student traineeship program or more effective graduate-level educational practices, the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT) Program is accepting proposals via two tracks until May 6, 2015.
NSF's Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) is accepting proposals until May 27, 2015. These include opportunities to develop new research tools as well as increase early-career scientist participation in plant genomics.
NIH is seeking input on its proposed funding priorities for neuroscience research as part of its Neuroscience Blueprint . The agency particularly welcomes comments on major impediments to and opportunities for neuroscience research that are not addressed by current programs—and ideas for new programs that would address these issues. Responses are accepted through May 25.
Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is speaking out for increased funding for biomedical research. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Cantor was quoted as saying "There is probably nothing more stimulative in terms of economic growth than innovation. That innovation comes from basic scientific research."
Geneticists near New York City may be interested in the New York Academy of Sciences conference on "Microbes in the City: Mapping the Urban Genome," June 19 from 8 am - 7 pm.
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Deadline for next issue: April 24, 2015. Send items (and feedback) to Beth Ruedi, email@example.com.