November 6, 2013


Society News

Don’t forget to join or renew your 2014 GSA membership before December 1, 2013, and you will be entered in a raffle to win one of several prizes: a complimentary registration to a GSA conference in 2014 or 2015, a one-year extension to your GSA membership, a $50 gift card to, or a copy of GSA's Conversations in Genetics interview series with leading geneticists. New options for membership include a five-year regular membership and a joint GSA/National Postdoctoral Association postdoc membership. Join or renew today and be eligible to win!

GSA is pleased to sponsor the 15th International Xenopus Meeting, August 24–28, 2014 at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.  Please sign up to stay informed about the meeting here!   The Xenopus conference joins the exciting lineup for 2014 GSA Conferences, including the 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics, 2014 Yeast Genetics Meeting, and 27th Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference.

The GSA Journals

The November issue of GENETICS is online! This month, Frøkjær-Jensen provides a Commentary discussing prospects for precise engineering of C. elegans genomes with CRISPR/Cas9, and the issue contains five articles describing its use to edit the worm genome.  Also read Nunes et al.’s compelling Perspective on micro-evo-devo, Sadhu et al. on nutritional control of epigenetic processes in yeast and human cells, and Yu et al.s evidence for a tumor suppressor role for LATS1 and LATS2 in human cancer.  

The GSA Journals were well-represented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, with attendees including GENETICS Editor-in-Chief Mark Johnston, GENETICS Senior Editor Gary Churchill, GENETICS Associate Editor Lynn Jorde, G3 Senior Editor Steve Scherer, G3 Associate Editor Adavinda Chakravarti, and others. In the exhibit hall, GSA Executive Director Adam Fagen, Director of Education Beth Ruedi, Journals Executive Editor Tracey DePellegrin, and Assistant Managing Editor Ruth Isaacson met hundreds of attendees and discussed GSA, GENETICS, and G3 during this exciting conference!

On the go? You can now access GENETICS and G3 on your mobile devices, with quick and easy navigation designed for times when you want to keep up with the latest research, but need an interface that works where you work.  Simply access or from your mobile device, and let us know what you think at or

Submit your mutant screens to G3! G3 has launched a format for these Mutant Screen Reports and published a collection of them in recent months. Don’t let your papers get lost in a crowd–publish in a journal dedicated to promoting the work of geneticists conducting research across a broad range of organisms and topics, where you can be sure your articles are given a speedy turnaround, helpful review, copyediting, proofs, and early online publication. G3: Because your research is important to you, it’s important to us.


Education and Professional Development

New for November at GSA PREP, the Society’s peer-reviewed educational resource portal: Bakewell and Tuttle (2013) provide a simple inquiry-based exercise that re-familiarizes and enhances student understanding of probability, predictions, and evaluating the fit of observed data to predictions using a null model.  Working in small groups, students use chi-squared tests to examine real data and develop and solve problems using skills necessary for classical genetic analysis.  Try it out in your small group discussions, or even modify it for a large course!  And don’t forget, if you have an educational resource that you’d like to publish in GSA PREP, submit it for peer review today!

Applications are now available for the Biology Scholars 2014–2015 residency year!  The Biology Scholars Program strives to empower biologists to be leaders in science education reform; developed by the American Society of Microbiology, the Program also serves to catalyze professional societies like GSA to sustain undergraduate education reform.  Program goals are achieved through three year-long residencies, which include three-day in-person institutes: Assessment (June 25–28, 2014), which focuses on developing a course/module grounded in education research; Research (July 23–26, 2014), focused on conducing evidence-based research on issues associated with student learning in biology; and Transitions (July 23–26, 2014), which helps residents transition from education research to publication.  Apply by February 1, 2014, and join the other GSA members who are Biology Scholars!

Do you have an ORCID ID? ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort that creates and maintains unique researcher identifiers, allowing researchers to link their activities and outputs to a unique, persistent ID.  Attach your identity to articles, datasets, equipment, media stories, citations, experiments, patents, and more!  ORCID also integrates with ResearcherID, Scopus, Europe PMC, ANDS, and CrossRef.

Members in the News

Two GSA members were honored with awards at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human GeneticsAravinda Chakravarti, an Associate Editor for the GSA Journal G3, received the William Allen Award, which recognizes a scientist for substantial and far-reaching scientific contributions to human genetics.  John Moran received the Curt Stern Award honoring researchers who have made significant scientific contributions during the past decade.  Congrats to both!

Awards, Fellowships, and Contests

Nominations are open for the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, which recognize the country’s most promising young faculty-rank scientists and engineers in the disciplinary categories of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry.  One Blavatnik Laureate from each disciplinary category will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds. Candidates must have been born in or after 1972. Deadline: November 22, 2013.

FASEB wants you to Stand Up for Science!  Create an exciting, informative, 1-4 minute video to help educate Americans about how science is funded, and you could win $5,000.  Submissions must be received by November 30, 2013.  For inspiration, check out the 2012 winning video.


The Science Coalition released a new report, “Companies Created from Federally Funded University Research Fuel American Innovation, Economic Growth,” profiling 100 companies that trace their roots to federally funded university research.  The report focuses on the role of these companies in bringing transformational innovations to market, creating new jobs, and contributing to economic growth.

Reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act may give rise to a battle in Washington.  Democrats on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, including Ranking Member Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), have prepared a discussion draft of the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2013 that includes a 5% year over year increase in funding for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Science and Technology.  The bill will focus on supporting research, fostering innovation, creating jobs, and improving STEM education and workforce preparedness.  The committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), purportedly has a different set of ideas in mind, but has not yet released a draft of his COMPETES legislation.

And finally…

Recent highlights from the GSA’s social networking platforms.  Keep up with the buzz by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:

Do you have a brief announcement to submit to GSA e-News?
E-news items include news about GSA members new positions, book publication, awards or grants received and obits; short policy items; brief research news items and grant programs; and, award nomination announcements.

Deadline for next issue: November 15, 2013.  Send items to Beth Ruedi,