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March 19, 2015
Society News

It's time for the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference! The conference, which takes place this week from March 17–22, will feature over 100 talks and nearly 700 posters. Even if you aren't here with us at Asilomar, you can follow along and join in the discussion on Twitter at #FUNGAL15.

Allan Spradling calls on model organism researchers to "assume the mantle of leadership in biological research."
This month's Annual Drosophila Research Conference was a hit! Kicked off with a rousing keynote address by former GSA President and longtime Society member Allan Spradling (Carnegie Institution for Science), the meeting showed off the value of this irreplaceable model organism.Catch up on the Twitter highlights at #DROS2015, check out the pictures on GSA's Facebook page, and read a meeting summary on the Node.

Last chance for undergraduate researchers attending the 20th International C. elegans Meeting at UCLA, June 24-28, 2015, to apply for the GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards! The awards promote excellence in undergraduate research and education by supporting travel costs for undergraduate students attending a GSA conference and presenting their research. Applications are due March 20, 2015. [more...]

Attention Worm Meeting attendees: we are pleased to announce a new workshop for 2015: "Preparing your educational resources for online publication." Co-sponsored by CourseSource, this workshop shows educators how to prepare their teaching resources for publication in an online repository. After learning how to navigate the submission process for GSA PREP and CourseSource, attendees will have a dedicated time to work on their submissions while "TAs" are standing by to answer questions. Apply now for this exciting new workshop! Applications are due May 29, 2015.

Grad students and postdocs: don't forget that we are also accepting applications for the DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics to support travel to courses and conferences between July 1 and December 31, 2015. While there are no GSA conferences being offered during this cycle, DeLill Nasser Awards are, as always, available to support any genetics-related course or conference that can benefit one's career. Applications are due April 3, 2015. [more...]

The GSA Journals

Attending the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference this week? If you have a question about our journals or just need some publishing advice, make sure to look out for GSA journals Assistant Editor Cristy Gelling, who will be onsite all week.

A self-crossed maize ear segregating many different kernel traits. Image courtesy of Elizabeth Lee and Jeff Ross-Ibarra.
Tools of the Maize: Maize research has provided many insights into fundamental genetics, including major discoveries in the areas of transposons, imprinting, and chromosome biology. In this month's GENETICS, a maize Genetic Toolbox Review by Natalie Nannas and Kelly Dawe outlines the basics of working with maize and describes the plant's rich genetic and genomic toolbox.


Genetic and Genomic Toolbox of Zea mays
Natalie J. Nannas and R. Kelly Dawe
Genetics March 2015 199:655-669

Maritime pine forest in Spain. Credit: Ana I de-Lucas
Forest Forecast: Better understanding adaptive genetic responses to climate change will help predict range shifts and assist management of biological diversity. In the latest issue of GENETICS, Jaramillo-Correa et al. identify 18 SNPs associated with climate in maritime pine, an outcrossing, long-lived, keystone forest tree. Alleles at the candidate loci were successfully used to predict maladaptation to climate in a common garden under extreme hot and dry conditions. Read more about the implications for biodiversity and forestry management at Phys.org.


Molecular proxies for climate maladaptation in a long-lived tree (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinaceae)
Juan-Pablo Jaramillo-Correa, Isabel Rodríguez-Quilón, Delphine Grivet, Camille Lepoittevin, Federico Sebastiani, Myriam Heuertz, Pauline H. Garnier-Géré,Ricardo Alía, Christophe Plomion, Giovanni G. Vendramin, and Santiago C. González-Martínez
Genetics March 2015 199:793-807

Chromosome 2 (red) and X (green) in a Drosophila stage 10 eggchamber.
Image courtesy of Huy Nguyen.
Nuclear Engineering: In the latest issue of G3, Bozler et al. show that show that condensin II can exert mechanical forces great enough to remodel and pull nuclear envelope membrane into intra-nuclear vesicle-like structures. The authors propose a model in which envelope-chromatin tethers allow chromosome movements to regulate nuclear envelope morphology.


Condensins Exert Force on Chromatin-Nuclear Envelope Tethers to Mediate Nucleoplasmic Reticulum Formation in Drosophila melanogaster
Julianna Bozler, Huy Q. Nguyen, Gregory C. Rogers, and Giovanni Bosco
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics March 2015 5:341-352

Included in this Issue:

March Issue

March Issue


Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Scripps Colleges, Claremont, CA

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of California Davis, Davis, CA

Faculty Position: Director of Molecular Genomics Lab, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Full time Genetic Counseling position in California, Kaiser Permanente, San Jose, CA

Scientific Data Wrangler, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Visiting Assistant Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Assistant Professor - Tenure Track, Baruch College, New York, NY

Postdoctoral position in Genome Editing in Xenopus, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

Postdoctoral Fellow - Quantitative Genetics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Postdoctoral Position – Host-Microbiota Interactions - Duke University, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

Senior Research Technologist, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

Genetic Counselor - Cancer, Enterprise Medical Services, Memphis, TN

Computational & Laboratory based Post-Doctoral Fellowship Opportunity, Institute for Aging Research, Boston,

Senior Level Postdoc-Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Genes to Genomes: The GSA Journals Blog

A glaring paradox clarified
: The latest issue of GENETICS features an editorial by Editor-in-Chief Mark Johnston about the influence of the Journal Impact Factor on science that discussed an alternative metric emphasizing the research experience of the journal's editors. In response to feedback from readers, Mark wrote a follow-up blog post clarifying that he doesn't advocate using journal metrics to evaluate job, promotion or funding candidates; rather, the alternative metric is a device to illustrate the difference in research experience between the professional editors of the top-tier (high impact factor) journals and the peer editors of community-run journals like GENETICS and G3.

Members in the News

Zhao Zhang receives the Larry Sandler Memorial Award from Erika Bach (New York University).
Photo credit: A. Fagen
Congratulations to Zhao Zhang, winner of this year's Larry Sandler Memorial Award for an outstanding PhD in Drosophila research! Zhang received the award and delivered an excellent lecture on his research at last week's Annual Drosophila Research Conference organized by GSA. [more...]

The Scientist reports on recent progress using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Among the projects highlighted is one from GENETICS Senior Editor and former GSA Board member John Schimenti, who is using CRISPR/Cas9 to develop mouse models of cancer and meiosis.

USA Today highlights new research from GSA Board member Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena that gene expression is more heavily influenced by the male parent.

Science Careers profiles GSA member and 'indie scientist' Ethan Perlstein and his entrepreneurial path to rare disease research using model organisms.

Education and Professional Development

"Exploring Genetic Variation in a Caffeine Metabolism Gene," a new GSA PREP resource by Zephyr and Walsh of Rollins College, teaches a variety of basic molecular biology techniques while catering to students' innate desire for self-discovery. The students assess their own DNA, developing hypotheses about their genotype based on what they know about their response to caffeine. The lab can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of majors and nonmajors alike.

Pedagogical research has shown that using primary literature to introduce students to core concepts and competencies in biology is highly effective; however, peer-reviewed research papers can be daunting to students. Primers in GENETICS provide a means to ease readers into the world of primary literature, guiding readers through papers covering topics from development to evolution. Primers are perfect for undergraduate majors, beginning graduate students, or even AP bio classes!

NSF has issued a Dear Colleague letter soliciting I-Corps for Learning Teams, which will work to develop and implement strategies to scale educational innovation.

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

Nominations are currently being accepted for the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The National Medals offer a unique opportunity to showcase the best and brightest minds within your organizations and the outstanding scientists and innovators you work with each and every day. Nominations are due April 27 and June 1 respectively.

The L'Oréal For Women in Science program recognizes and rewards the contributions women make in STEM fields and identifies exceptional women researchers committed to serving as role models for younger generations. The program will award five postdoctoral women scientists in the United States this year with grants of up to $60,000 each. Applications are now open to candidates from a variety of fields, and are due March 20, 2015.


Speaking in Iowa, former Florida governor Jeb Bush suggests support for increased NIH funding. "As we've cut back with NIH funding and other types of research funding, we lose the initiative to cure diseases. And I think this is an appropriate role for government," he says.

Australia's national research infrastructure has now escaped the threat of closure due to a political standoff. The threat had prompted sustained campaigning by scientists including an open letter from scientific organizations to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Despite the reprieve, scientists point out that funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) requires “a more permanent solution.”

In an effort to strengthen the pool of grant reviewers, NIH has reiterated its expectation that the PIs they support will serve as reviewers when asked.

Community Announcements

The Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) within the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) invites you to attend the upcoming Workshop on One Health: Integrating the Veterinarian Scientist into the Biomedical Research Enterprise on April 7–8 at the Lister Hill Auditorium, located at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together veterinarians, clinicians and basic researchers to provide information and advice on how basic and applied biomedical research can advance the NIH mission relative to human health and disease.

And finally...

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Deadline for next issue: March 26, 2015. Send items (and feedback) to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar, raiyar@genetics-gsa.org.