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January 21, 2015
Society News

John Postlethwait, winner of GSA's George W. Beadle Award, with icefish in Antarctica.
Congratulations to John H. Postlethwait (University of Oregon), winner of GSA's 2015 George W. Beadle Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the community of genetics researchers! The zebrafish community presented him with the award on Monday at GSA's 6th Strategic Conference of Zebrafish Investigators in Pacific Grove, CA. [more...] The additional 2015 Society Awards will be presented in the coming months.

New for 2015, we're teaming up with CourseSource to host a workshop at most GSA Conferences this year: "Preparing your educational resources for online publication." The workshop will guide attendees through the submission process for both CourseSource and GSA PREP and give them a dedicated time to work on their submissions: 
The full schedule of events is now online for the 56th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, March 4–8, 2015, in Chicago. Advance registration will remain open through February 20.

Attending the Fungal Genetics Conference? Please volunteer your time and expertise for our education and career development events! We have  opportunities for graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and other career scientists to help out. Please complete this survey to let us know whether you can help.

The GSA Journals

Image credit: Joseph Pfaller, University of Florida 
Venom variation: Venom from an eastern diamondback rattlesnake in the Everglades is distinct from the cocktail of toxins delivered by the same species in the Florida panhandle area, some 500 miles away. But no matter where you go in the Southeastern United States, the venom of the eastern coral snake is always the same. The results of a large-scale survey of venom variation in the two snake species, published in the January issue of GENETICS, challenge common assumptions in venom evolution research, provide crucial information for rattlesnake conservation, and will help coral snake antivenom development. Read the press release and its coverage on Science 360 News.

In the latest issue of G3: SNP interactions and breast cancer, fetal alcohol syndrome in Drosophila, heterochromatin and light-activated gene expression, and much more.

Lodicule swelling is responsible for floret opening in many grass species, allowing for pollen dispersal and cross-pollination. In barley, the closed floret habit is under the control of cly1, which inhibits development of the lodicule. In the latest issue of GENETICS, Wang et al. investigate the genetic and epigenetic basis of the unusual lodicule development conferred by a novel allele of cly1. [more...]

Have a timely result that you want you to publish quickly? Think Communications at GENETICS. Our new Communications article type provides a format for expedited publication of particularly significant and timely observations or advances. Communications receive the same rigorous peer review as Investigations, but ensure that authors can share time-sensitive results as fast as possible. Authors should submit a pre-submission inquiry including an abstract and a cover letter explaining why the findings are particularly significant and timely. For more information, please read the Instructions for Authors or contact the GENETICS editorial office at genetics-gsa@thegsajournals.org.

G3: Because your research is important to you, it's important to us.

Did you know that G3 submissions increased by 37% from 2013 to 2014? Our authors tell us they like that our editors - all practicing scientists -  are successful researchers who are well-recognized in their fields and who make quick but thoughtful decisions within about a month (for all reviewed manuscripts). And after acceptance, we continue to care about you and your paper. We want your article to be quickly available and robust - which means high-quality production and handling post-acceptance. Like GENETICS, G3 features Early Online publishing and PubMed deposits within days of acceptance, copyediting, links to model organism databases, full composition/layout, and page proof services, and a responsive, experienced editorial staff. By publishing in the GSA's open access, dedicated genetics and genomics journal, your work is read by audiences you want to reach, and from beginning to end we strive to provide quality, visibility and long-term impact. Send your next manuscript to G3 and see why authors and readers are discovering that not all journals are created equal

Mapping granny: ancestry inference for admixed individuals 

Like all biological populations, human groups can't be neatly divided. Real populations are connected to each other, and their borders are blurred by migration and mixing. But when inferring ancestry of an individual from genetic data, populations are typically simplified into tidy, discrete units. In the December issue of G3, Yang et al. describe a method for ancestry inference of admixed individuals that uses a geographic approach to explicitly model some of the messy realities of populations. [more…]

Included in this Issue:

January Issue

January Issue


Postdoctoral Associate, University of Massachusetts Medical, MA

Postdoctoral Associate, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

Senior Content Scientist (3099), Qiagen, Redwood City, CA

Postdoc in phosphate metabolism, Bergwitz Lab/Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Visiting Assistant Professor, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL

Postdoctoral Fellow, Kansas State University Division of Biology, manhattan, KS

Assistant/Associate Professor of Neuroscience, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Postdoctoral Fellow position in Candida pathogenesis, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Torrance, CA

Faculty Position in Biostatistics - Statistical Genetics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Postdoctoral Scholar at Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research (NIBR), Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research, Cambridge, MA

Faculty Positions, Minerva Schools at KGI

Clinical Content Quality Scientist (3690), Qiagen, Redwood City, CA

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Novel Antimicrobials, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

Director of Network Activities, Genetic Alliance, Washington, DC

Geneticist, Visiting Assistant Professor, College of Wooster, Wooster, OH

Members in the News

GSA member Elizabeth Blackburn sketched her discovery of telomerase, which won her the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Source: LiveScience
Several Nobel laureates were asked to sketch their Nobel-winning discoveries in crayon. Among those featured is GSA member Elizabeth Blackburn.

New technology is making it easier to automate observation of behavior in Drosophila. Several GSA members are quoted in this article from The Scientist.

The Scientist profiles GSA member Doris Bachtrog as a scientist to watch, describing her work on sex chromosomes in Drosophila and beyond.

Education and Professional Development

Apply now to be a 2015–2016 Biology Scholar! The American Society of Microbiology is accepting applications for the Biology Scholars Program, which empowers biologists to be leaders in education reform. The nearly 250 alumni of this program come from all manner of institutions, from community colleges to large research universities; to date, GSA has ten Biology Scholar alumni, most of whom are actively involved in GSA education initiatives. Apply by February 1 for one of three year-long residencies: Assessment, Research, or Transitions.

Does your institution have Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) funding for summer 2015? Let us know so we can spread the word to students at community colleges, undergraduate institutions, and other US institutions! Please provide information about your institution's REU program (or any similar program) by January 23, so GSA can include the news in our special-issue Education Quarterly this winter. [more...]

A new article illustrates the ongoing decline in grants awarded to young scientists and the implications for science. "Without their own funding, young researchers are prevented from starting their own laboratories, pursuing their own research, and advancing their own careers in academic science. It is not surprising that many of our youngest minds are choosing to leave their positions," notes author Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels.


The Wall Street Journal reports on the declining number of scientists in Congress: only 2 Senators or Representatives hold doctorates in the natural sciences.

NIH reminds the scientific community of their Genomic Data Sharing Policy, which takes effect for NIH grant applications submitted for the January 25, 2015, due date and thereafter.

Source: NIGMS Feedback Loop Blog

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) director Jon Lorsch has shared additional data about NIGMS funding patterns (right) . Among the statistics: 20% of NIGMS grantees have <$185k in NIH direct costs, 20% have >$505k.

NIGMS has released new guidelines on funding investigators who have substantial, long-term, unrestricted research support (>$400k) from another source. In short, the institute may restrict NIGMS support as an effort to support more investigators and improve success rates.

Concerns are being raised that the economic benefits of the EU Horizon 2020 programme for research funding are not evenly spread across Europe. "Horizon 2020 will not work if the centrifugal forces pulling the continent apart exceed the centripetal ones holding it together," warns Colin Macilwain in Nature News.

Grad students and postdocs supported by NIH National Research Service Awards will receive a 2% stipend increase in 2015.

FASEB has released a new report recommending changes to enhance the efficiency of biomedical and biological research: Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Sciences: A Discussion Framework. And they want to know what you think about the report's recommendations; register your feedback via this online survey—and be sure to identify yourself as a GSA member so we can hear what you think as well.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published articles by Johns Hopkins researchers on funding trends that indicate the U.S. will lose its lead in biomedical research, HHMI President Robert Tijan on the importance of discovery research and model organisms, and NIH Director Francis Collins on the 21st century as the "century of biology".

And finally...

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Why is Drosophila so important for biomedical research? This accessible video explains it all, including many of the groundbreaking discoveries enabled by Drosophila research. Hat tip to the Manchester Fly Facility for a job well done!
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: January 29, 2015. Send items (and feedback) to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar, raiyar@genetics-gsa.org.