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News especially for members of the genetics community
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December 21, 2016
Sonia Hall: Engaging early career scientists
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Society News
As 2016 comes to a close, we want to ask for your support for our GSA New Initiatives Fund. Donations will support timely GSA-run projects, including genetics outreach to the public, early career scientist engagement, and careers workshops, among others we’re starting in 2017. Please consider giving today to strengthen our community in this time of change.
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Drosophila 2017
We'd like to offer a sincere thank you to the dedicated scientists who complete their terms on the GSA Board of Directors at the end of the year: Jasper Rine, Sue Jinks-Robertson, Angelika Amon, Lauren McIntyre, Dmitri Petrov, and Sonia Hall. Lynn Cooley will be taking the reins (and gavel!) from Stan Fields in the new year, becoming GSA's new President. Stan will remain on the board in 2017 as Immediate Past President. He reflects on a rollercoaster year for the GSA in a wrap-up of his popular frameshifts series.
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Fungal 2017
GSA Meetings
Nominations for the Larry Sandler Award are due tomorrow, December 22. Any student who completed a PhD in Drosophila research between July 2015 and December 2016 is eligible.
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Abstract assignments for the upcoming 58th Annual Drosophila Research Conference are now available online.
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Students and Postdocs
Graduate students at Columbia University have voted to unionize. The union will be the first to represent graduate students since the National Labor Relations Board ruled that students who work as teaching and research assistants have a federal right to unionize.
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CBE–Life Sciences Education published a guide for graduate students interested in postdoctoral positions focused on biology education research.
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Shannon Craigo-Snell of Inside Higher Ed provides concrete tips for soliciting strong letters of recommendations.
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The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) has been posted. The award facilitates the transition of talented graduate students into successful cancer research postdoctoral appointments. Letters of Intent are due January 17, 2017, and applications are due February 17, 2017.
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GSA Journals
In the latest issue of GENETICS, Reviews Editor Michael Turelli introduces Edward East's 1916 Classic on the Mendelian basis of a continuously varying phenotype. This work exquisitely unified environment effects and polygenic inheritance by examining crosses between inbred lines of Nicotiana longiflora with markedly different corolla lengths.
Edward East on the Mendelian basis of quantitative trait variation
Michael Turelli
GENETICS December 2016 204: 1321-1323.
The domesticated almond and peach originated on opposite sides of Asia and were independently domesticated ∼5000 years ago. Although almonds are cultivated for their seeds and peaches for their fruit flesh, these delicious relatives remain interfertile and some uncertainty surrounds their classification into distinct species. In the latest issue of G3, Velasco et al. describe considerable genetic differentiation between peach and almond, supporting their status as separate species. The authors estimate speciation and fruit divergence preceded domestication by millions of years, coinciding with a period of climate change in Asia.
Evolutionary Genomics of Peach and Almond Domestication
Dianne Velasco, Josh Hough, Mallikarjuna Aradhya, and Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics December 2016 6: 3985-3993.
G3 Cover
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Dog pedigrees shed light on recombination
Over the course of evolution, the domestic dog appears to have lost function of PRDM9, a protein that directs recombination to genome "hotspots."
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Stan Fields December Cartoon
GSA-Art: Ahna Skop
Ahna Skop brings her curiosity and love of beauty to everything she does, from genetics to art.
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Xenopus Photo
TAGC Videos & Meeting Report: The Allied Genetics Conference online!
More than 280 genetics research talks from TAGC 2016 are now freely available online, and a meeting report is available in G3.
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GSA-Art: Shruthi Vembar
Members in the News
G3 Senior Editor Susan Forsburg, recipient of the 2016 Nature Award for Mentoring in Science, discusses the importance of mentoring, her approach, and what this recognition means to her.
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GSA members David Botstein and Cynthia Kenyon and GENETICS Senior Editor Gary Churchill discuss Google’s new spinout Calico and its focus on understanding aging.
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GSA member Melissa Wilson Sayres is quoted in The Atlantic, commenting on new research revealing a peculiar case of microbial interference in sex chromosome evolution.
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Twenty-five faculty at five different institutions worked together to develop and test an effective clicker-based case study on the central dogma of molecular biology.
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A new Primer published in GENETICS provides background information on the white gene, the phenomenon of pleiotropy, and the molecular and genetic approaches used in the study to demonstrate a new behavioral function for the white gene.
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The application deadline for a Community Action Grant from The American Association of University Women is approaching. Apply by January 15, 2017.
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Applications for the National Education Association Foundation’s Grants to Educators are due February 1, 2017.
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G3 Genome Reports
US federal agencies and departments are now funded by a stopgap spending bill that runs until April 28, 2017. Budget uncertainty can create planning headaches for federal research agencies.
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The NIH is discussing curbing lab size to fund more mid-career scientists.
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The American Institute of Biological Sciences is offering an intensive, two-day Communications boot camp in Washington, DC in February 2017.
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Community Announcements
The deadline for the 2017 Drosophila image award is next month. All images that have been or will be published in a primary research journal in 2016 are eligible. Submit your entry by January 31, 2017.
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News Around the Web
Tibetan dogs can survive at high altitudes, thanks to ancient breeding with wolves
Finding the world’s unknown viruses — before they find us
Let’s waste more money on science
The Overhyping of Precision Medicine
Genetics Careers Logo
Looking for a job or have one to offer? provides free job listings across the breadth of genetics—from academic, government, and industry positions to postdoctoral opportunities and much more.
Professor & Chair, Genetics
Chapel Hill, NC
Postdoc in Drosophila developmental genetics
New York, NY
Technician - Special Projects
Palo Alto, CA
Host-microbe interactions in arctic ground squirrels
Anchorage, AK
5 Reasons to join the GSA
  1. Networking: Connect with our international community of microbial, plant, animal, human, population, and theoretical geneticists, as well as other thought leaders in the field.
  2. Education and Mentorship: Participate in professional development workshops and meet mentors who can help you progress to the next level of your career.
  3. Advocate for Research: Become an advocate for genetic research and work with GSA to share the value of your research with the public and policymakers.
  4. Become a Leader: Vote and run for positions on the GSA Board of Directors and GSA committees, where decisions regarding the direction of the Society are made.
  5. Promote your Research: Publish in GENETICS and G3 at a reduced rate and become eligible to have your contributions to the field recognized with a GSA award.
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Deadline for next issue: December 30, 2016. Send items (and feedback) to Cristy Gelling,
Disease Models & Mechanisms
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