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News especially for members of the genetics community
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March 29, 2017

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Society News
Contact Congress to protest the catastrophic federal research budget cuts proposed by the White House. GSA President Lynn Cooley and Vice-President Jeannie Lee urge GSA members to act.
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Will you March for Science on April 22? Let us know why you’re marching on Twitter using the hashtag #GSAMarches. Make sure to buy your GSA / March for Science T-shirt before April 9, so you can receive it in time to wear it on the big day!
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Sally G. Hoskins (City College, CUNY) is the 2017 recipient of the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education. This award recognizes her role in developing and promoting CREATE (Consider, Read, Elucidate hypotheses, Analyze and interpret data, and Think of the next Experiment). This innovative approach uses primary literature to engage students and help them understand the collaborative problem-solving process that is real science.
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Jonathan Hodgkin (University of Oxford) is the 2017 recipient of the Edward Novitski Prize in recognition of his extraordinary creativity and intellectual ingenuity in uncovering the sex determination pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans. His innovations and contributions to genetic analysis, including the use of suppressor screens and epistasis analyses, helped advance the field in countless ways.
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Richard C. Lewontin (Harvard University) is the 2017 recipient of the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal for lifetime achievement in the field of genetics. This award recognizes Lewontin’s extensive impact on our understanding of evolution and population genetics, an influence that has shaped the entire field.
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Have your renewed your GSA membership for 2017? GSA memberships expire each year on December 31st. This is a critical time for our community to stick together. We depend on your support and engagement.
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GSA Meetings
Don’t miss out! Abstracts for the International C. elegans Conference are due TOMORROW, March 30.
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The Annual Drosophila Research Conference starts today! Follow all the news on Twitter using #DROS17. Don’t miss the publishing tips and tricks breakfast on Thursday, the career planning workshop on Friday afternoon, and the How I Fly (HIF) ScienceSlam on Friday night!
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Use the #DROS17 Networking Center in the Exhibit Hall to meet with colleagues, form collaborations, discuss advocacy efforts, plan a tweetup & more! During lunchtime on Friday and Saturday, the following topical tables will be moderated:

Applying to postbac programs
Communicating with Congress
Fight for funding in the current political climate
Leadership opportunities—GSA
Grad school applications best practices
Individual development plans
Navigating graduate training
Open access tools
Peer review process
Publishing in GENETICS and G3
Science advocacy and outreach
Wondering what you can do about the proposed US federal research budget cuts? We compiled some suggestions on quick actions you can take to fight this proposal from your hometown.
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The US federal government is still running under a “continuing resolution.” Use the FASEB Legislative Action Center to urge your Senators and Representatives to approve the 2017 budget, which includes a $2 billion increase in NIH funding, and reject the White House proposal to cut 2017 NIH funding by more than $1 billion.
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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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Crafting your resume for a non-academic position: The latest in our Career Tips series features advice on non-academic resumes from Sonia Hall, GSA Program Director for Early Career Scientist Programming.
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Meet the GSA Early Career Scientist Leaders! We’re taking time over the following weeks to get to know the members of the GSA’s Early Career Scientist Committees. First up are Alison Gerken (Communication & Outreach Subcommittee Liaison), Sumeet Nayak (Communication & Outreach Subcommittee Co-Chair), and Thomas Clements (Policy Subcommittee Liaison).
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GSA Journals
Individual inbreeding and historical demography can be estimated by analyzing runs of homozygosity (ROH) that indicate identity by descent. Such analyses have so far been rare in natural populations due to limited genomic resources. Kardos et al. analyzed ROH in wild Ficedula flycatchers. The strongest contributors to genome-wide variation in ROH abundance were likely positive selection and increased power to detect ROH in regions with low recombination. The authors identified populations with particularly small effective population size (Ne) and estimated the size and founding time of an island population.
Inferring Individual Inbreeding and Demographic History from Segments of Identity by Descent in Ficedula Flycatcher Genome Sequences
Long-read sequencing technologies hold great promise for de novo genome assembly of non-model species. Allen et al. report genome assembly for Drosophila serrata, a montium subgroup species with well-studied latitudinal trait clines, sexual selection, and gene expression, but which lacks a reference genome. The genome was assembled using only 65x coverage data from PacBio sequencing. The genome has a high degree of completeness in terms of gene content and has a favorable level of contiguity compared with second generation short-read assemblies.
Single-Molecule Sequencing of the Drosophila serrata Genome
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Genes to Genomes Logo
Snorkeling out of the membrane
In vivo yeast evidence supports the amino acid “snorkeling” hypothesis to explain how charged amino acid residues are sometimes found buried within the hydrophobic interior of a lipid bilayer.
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Snorkeling Photo
50 years of molecular evolution in Drosophila
After fifty years, Drosophila is still shining a molecular light on evolution.
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50 years of molecular evolution in Drosophila
In the latest issue of CBE-Life Sciences Education, Brickman et al. review current practices in teaching evaluations through a national survey of faculty. Though reported as most useful, evaluations by faculty peers were less common than student evaluations. The authors state that improved teaching evaluation may be “the missing link” for expanding the implementation of evidence-based teaching.
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Community Announcements
The 22nd Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics will be held in Seattle, July 10-28. There are four new modules among the 20 offered. Some scholarship opportunities remain available.
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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 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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G3 Genome Reports
News Around the Web
Evolution Runs Faster on Short Timescales
The GOP’s New Bill Would Seriously Disrupt Genetics Research
White House proposes new, sweeping budget cuts at NIH
Study suggests scientific work force is aging -- and will get even older
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.
Postdoctoral Position in Human Genomics
New York, NY
Postdoctoral Research Associate
(epigenetics, Drosophila) St Louis, MO
Postdoctoral Position in Synapse Neurobiology
Philadelphia, PA
Senior Scientist, Statistical Genetics
Boston, MA
Postdoc Fellow- Bioinformatics, Comp Bio, System Bio
La Jolla, CA
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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