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News especially for members of the genetics community
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March 15, 2017
Don’t miss out! #WORM17
Abstract deadline: March 30
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Society News
Susan A. Gerbi (Brown University) is the 2017 recipient of the George W. Beadle Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the genetics community. Gerbi has helped develop techniques for mapping replication origins, sequencing genomes, and transforming whole organisms, and she helped to establish the fly Sciara coprophila as an important model for studying chromosomes and DNA replication.
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David Kingsley (Stanford / HHMI) is the 2017 recipient of the GSA Medal for outstanding contributions to the field of genetics in the past 15 years. His experimental work has shifted paradigms about how the physical traits of vertebrate organisms evolve.
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GSA Meetings
Advance registration pricing for the Annual Drosophila Research Conference ends this Friday March 17. Registration will close at that time but will re-open online on March 22. Save time at the meeting by completing your registration online from your hotel room, lab, or home. Then just come to the registration desk in the Atlas Foyer in the Town & Country (San Diego) to pick up your materials.
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The 29th Fungal Genetics Meeting is currently in full swing! Follow the meeting on Twitter using #FUNGAL17.
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Students and Postdocs
Student and postdoc members can apply for a DeLill Nasser Award for Career Development in Genetics, which funds travel to conferences and courses. Deadline: April 4, 2017
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Undergraduate members headed to this year’s International C. elegans Conference can apply for a GSA Undergraduate Travel Award. Deadline: March 21, 2017.
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Are you an early career researcher interested in working with Congress to develop and implement health and research policies related to genetics? Apply by April 21 to the NHGRI’s 16-month Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship, which offers a $72K stipend plus benefits.
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Premium (i.e. fast-tracked) H-1B US visa processing has been temporarily suspended by the US Customs and Immigration Services. This means obtaining an H-1B visa for postdoc or staff scientist positions could now take 6-9 months.
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Sponsored by the GSA, the Evolution in Philadelphia Conference (EPiC) aims to bring together early career researchers from the greater Philadelphia area who share similar interests: understanding the complex biological relationships that inform ecological and evolutionary processes. Presentation submission deadline: March 20, 2017
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Nine students and postdoc leaders have been newly appointed to our Early Career Scientist Steering Committee. The committee is charged with understanding the interests, concerns, and challenges of early career scientist members of the GSA. As part of this leadership and professional development program, appointees will develop programming to advocate for the interests of the GSA, highlight important advancements originating within the genetics community, and build relationships with scientists in all sectors of the workforce. Welcome to new leaders Alessandro A. Bailetti, Giovanna Collu, Alexandra Erwin, Giovanni Hanna, Emily Lescak, Caitlin McDonough, Sumeet Nayak, Adam J. Ramsey, Didem P. Sarikaya.
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GSA Journals
Drosophila females are larger than males; transformer (tra), a central gene of the sex-determination pathway, contributes to this difference. Mathews et al. have now identified another potent regulator of size dimorphism by showing that dosage of the Myc gene regulates sex-specific growth together with tra. By escaping dosage compensation, Myc confers a growth advantage to females. Since Myc is also involved in the activation of tra, this gene is a key player in the control of sex-specific body size.
Sexual dimorphism of body size is controlled by dosage of the X-chromosomal gene Myc and by the sex-determining gene tra in Drosophila
Loss of one allele during PCR amplification may have profound implications for procedures that assume biallelic amplification. Stevens et al. examine an unusual type of allelic drop-out caused by the combined effect of DNA structure formation (G-quadruplexes) and cytosine methylation that results in the methylated allele always being completely lost. They demonstrate this type of allelic drop-out potentially occurs at many imprinted regions, and is hence an important consideration for laboratories carrying out molecular diagnostics or genetic research that involves imprinted regions of the genome.
Allelic Dropout During Polymerase Chain Reaction due to G-Quadruplex Structures and DNA Methylation Is Widespread at Imprinted Human Loci
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Genes to Genomes Logo
Behind the Cover: Attack of the 50 Foot Mosquito
When geneticist Rob Unckless took his son to Lego Club at the local library, he was not expecting to start a new collaboration.
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<em>GENETICS</em> February Cover
A single gene controls multiple feeding-related traits in fruit fly larvae
The foraging gene controls multiple traits related to the critically important first feasts of a fruit fly.
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photo of fruit fly larvae
The unique genetic variation of the Greenlandic Inuit population could help find novel disease associations
As well as their cultural and historical contributions, the people of Greenland carry important information in their genes.
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village of Kulusuk, Greenland
Community Announcements
Amar Klar, distinguished geneticist, long-time GSA member, GSA journals author, reviewer, and an unforgettable presence at many GSA meetings, has passed away. He will be greatly missed by our community.
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“Conversations in Genetics” is delighted to release a new free public access video interview of Matthew Meselson by Mark Ptashne on Gene Story. This wonderful interview touches on Matt's work on rotifer reproduction, DNA replication, recombination and repair, and banning biological and chemical weapons. Don’t miss this inspiring story.
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In the latest issue of CBE-Life Sciences Education, Goff et al. test the efficacy of an animation-based learning module for meiosis in introductory biology. Student achievement on a meiosis assessment was significantly higher for students who viewed the learning module than for students who received instruction in a traditional lecture setting alone.
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G3 Genome Reports
A bill is moving through Congress that would allow employers to bypass the protections of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to collect the results of employee genetic tests. GSA is among more than 60 scientific, medical, and patient advocacy organizations who have signed a letter to Congress opposing the bill.
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A new Executive Order barring entry of citizens of six majority Muslim countries will go into effect tomorrow, March 16. Despite the revised terms, the new order is no reprieve for affected scientists.
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Members in the News
The Synthetic Yeast Genome (Sc 2.0) project, led by GSA Board of Directors member Jef Boeke, reported the completion of five new synthetic yeast chromosomes. The milestone was widely covered in the press.
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News Around the Web
Why Evolution Is Ageist
Patchy progress on fixing global gender disparities in science
This company wants to analyze your saliva — to try to predict when you’ll die
Pleistocene Park
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.
Postdoc - Functional Genomics of Pathogenic Fungi
Manhattan, KS
Postdoctoral Fellow – Madagascar Biodiversity Genomics
Omaha, NE / Madagascar
Postdoctoral research fellow in RNA biology and genomics
Stockholm, Sweden
Research Faculty Positions (biostatistics)
Ann Arbor, MI
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: March 24, 2017. Send items (and feedback) to Cristy Gelling,
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