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News especially for members of the genetics community
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February 1, 2017
CUNY worms, Philadelphia
evolution, & Boston careers
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Society News
GSA and 151 other scientific organizations have signed a letter urging President Trump to rescind the executive order on immigration and visas issued on January 27, declaring it damaging to scientific progress, innovation, and US science and engineering capacity.
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Have you or a colleague been affected by the recent US presidential executive order on immigration? We would like to hear from you. We’re preparing a statement from the Society on this issue and considering potential options for members who cannot attend GSA meetings. Please e-mail
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Congratulations to the Spring 2017 recipients of the DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics! These awards are given to outstanding graduate students and postdocs to support travel to meetings and courses. The next round of funding will open late February, with an application deadline of April 4, 2017.
  • Terry J. Felton (University College London)
  • Abigail Lind (Vanderbilt University)
  • Albert A. Mondragon (Boston University)
  • Taehyun Ryu (University of Southern California)
  • Michele Sammut (University College London)
  • Igor Iatsenko (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
  • Nikos Konstantinides (New York University)
  • Jyoti R. Misra (Rutgers University)
  • Luke M. Noble (New York University)
  • Jennifer Wisecaver (Vanderbilt University)
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GSA Meetings
The Annual Drosophila Research Conference early (discounted) registration deadline is this Friday, February 3! Register today and save nearly $200. We have several new events and resources for early career scientists planned, including an interactive career planning workshop and networking tables where attendees can gather to talk about science, careers, interests, and collaborations.
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Students and Postdocs
Doubt and angst in graduate school is common. But how do you figure out whether or not you’re on the right path?
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Applications are open for the ASHG/NHGRI Genetics & Education fellowship. The fellow will have the opportunity to participate in genetics education program development at NHGRI and ASHG and to work with other organizations involved in genetics education.
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Applications for the ASHG/NHGRI Genetics & Public Policy fellowship are now open. The fellow will have the opportunity to participate in policy analysis at NHGRI and ASHG, and to work directly with the United States Congress.
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Apply by March 1st for ComSciCon ‘17, a science communication workshop for graduate students held in Cambridge, MA. Travel support will be provided to accepted applicants.
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GSA Journals
To correctly segregate homologs at meiosis, do mammals require one crossover per chromosome or one crossover per chromosome arm? To address this fundamental question, Dumont measured recombination in karyotypically diverse house mice and voles. Intriguingly, the recombination patterns revealed species-level variation in chromosomal constraint on crossing over. The author also describes evidence for multiple independent shifts in the apparent scale of the chromosomal demand for crossing over at meiosis during mammalian evolution.
Variation and Evolution of the Meiotic Requirement for Crossing Over in Mammals
Beth L. Dumont
GENETICS January, 2017 205:155-168
The chicken is important not only as a critical dietary source but also as a model organism. The new chicken genome assembly is built from long read sequencing technology, finished BACs, physical maps and melded with the high quality Z chromosome. The new assembly has more assembled bases, fewer assembly gaps and a 10-fold improvement in contiguity. Three new microchromosomes have been assigned sequences, the number of annotated genes has increased by 4,679, and the MHC region  has increased in base count and assembly quality.
A New Chicken Genome Assembly Provides Insight into Avian Genome Structure
Wesley C. Warren et al.
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics January, 2017 7: 109-117
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Genes to Genomes Logo
A modern look at ancient DNA
Well over 15,000 years ago, a man and a bear died in a cave in the Jura Mountains in modern-day Switzerland.
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photo of skull
Pathogenic yeast uniquely resists toxicity of aggregation-prone proteins
The fungus Candida albicans, a common resident of the human body, can tolerate proteins with very long polyQ tracts—and the mechanism fueling this resistance seems unlike any known so far.
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rope knot
Enhancer-promoter distance is a potent modulator of gene expression
Although it’s clear that enhancers increase transcription by making contact with promoters, the primary mechanisms by which an enhancer’s target genes are defined remain a matter of debate.
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Transcription Factors
Fruit fly feast: Preview of the Annual Drosophila Research Conference
Check out the fantastic lineup of invited speakers at #DROS17!
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Dros17 Ad
GSA-Art: Adi Salzberg
Adi Salzberg studies PNS development in Drosophila and creates realistic oil paintings.
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Dros17 Ad
Members in the News
Hopi Hoekstra, member of the GSA’s Board of Directors, discussed her lab’s work on the developmental mechanisms of rodent stripe patterns on the podcast This Week in Evolution.
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The Personal Genetics Education Project has launched a new lesson plan on gene editing and CRISPR.
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The National Research Mentoring Network is holding a free, interactive program for faculty to improve their career coaching, leadership, and mentoring skills to better serve scientists from underrepresented groups. The application deadline is February 15, 2017.
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G3 Genome Reports
March for Science is a grassroots effort to organize a march on Washington, D.C. and other locations to “champion publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.”
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Drosophila geneticist and University of California, Berkeley investigator Michael Eisen has announced he will run for the US Senate in 2018.
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Community Announcements
GSA extends its condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Jim Hopper (Ohio State University), including to his wife and fellow yeast geneticist Anita Hopper (Ohio State University). Jim made major contributions to our understanding of gene regulation and the yeast GAL gene switch.
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Applications are open for the CSHL Mouse Development, Stem Cells, and Cancer Course, held in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, June 7-26. Scholarships are available! In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the course, there will also be a special daylong symposium that students will take part in. Application deadline: March 15.
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Congratulations to GSA member and former GENETICS Associate Editor Edward S. Buckler (USDA-Agricultural Research Service) for receiving the first National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences!
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Students in the Team masters project at Keck Graduate Institute seek input from the GSA community for their project on molecular biology product discontinuations. They are conducting a brief survey to better understand the most important aspects of discontinuation notifications and how suppliers can better meet your needs. Participants will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card. Deadline to respond is February 8, 11:59 PM PT.
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News Around the Web
Meet the scientists affected by Trump’s immigration ban
Monitoring Post-Mortem Gene Transcription in Mice and Zebrafish
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.
Senior Science support for Spaceflight and Ground Research (Drosophila)
Mountain View, CA
Viral Genome Curator
Bethesda, MD
Director of Research & Development
Middleton, WI
R&D Scientist, GeneDx
Gaithersburg, MD
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: February 10, 2017. Send items (and feedback) to Cristy Gelling,
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