July 3, 2013


Happy 4th of July from GSA!

The 19th International C. elegans Meeting was met with great success in UCLA last week.  Some highlights from the large meeting include:

GSA Poster Award Winners
            Cell Biology: Tisha E. Bohr
            Development and Evolution: Tulsi Patel
            Gene Regulation and Genomics: Ashlyn D. Ritter
            Methods and Technology: Valeriya Laskova
            Neurobiology: Julie E. Grimm
            Physiology: Kurt J. Warnhoff
            Undergraduate: Michael James Hoy

Worm Art Show Winners

Best in Show: Lacy Fenn
Microscopy: 1st—Maria Gravato-Nobre/Jonathan Hodgkin; 2nd—Cody Smith; 3rd—Hillary Kemp.
Mixed Media: 1st—Candy Lee; 2nd—Falina Williams; 3rd—Andrew Giles.
Best Embryo: Lucie Kozlowski
Most Humorous: Jill Hoyt
Best Video: Andrew Giles

#WORM2013 Recap on Storify
The 2013 Worm Show

The GSA Journals

If you are curious about the hottest issues in scientific publishing and want to know more about alt+metrics, new models of peer-review, open access mandates, impact factor manipulation, and other provocative topics, check out the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s daily blog, Scholarly Kitchen.

Did you know that GENETICS’ average time to first decision is 33 days (with some sections, like Gene Expression, averaging 28 days)?  Stop waiting around for other journals and submit your next paper to GENETICS!

Read HeLa Cell Sequela, G3's editorial on its online publication of the genomic and transciptomic landscape of a HeLa cell line (Landry et al. 2013). Share your thoughts on these complex issues by sending us an email.


Professional Development

Social media is becoming an increasingly important method for scientists to communicate and network.  How can you create a successful online presence to enhance your career?  This article in Science Careers describes the value of social media presence and networking, and provides advice for “behaving yourself” as well.

Mary Anne Mason, a professor at the UC Berkeley who has recently co-authored a book entitled “Do Babies Matter?: Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower,” described the heavy “baby penalty” for women in academia in this recent blog post for Slate.  She notes that in the sciences, women have responded to the national campaign for an increase in women in the STEM fields; they “receive significantly more PhDs in all these fields” compared to others.  However, “they also drop out in record numbers.” Read her take on why academia is so difficult for mothers, and what can be done about it.

GSA Members in the News

GSA congratulates Masatoshi Nei, who was named as the 2013 recipient of the Kyoto Prize in the basic sciences category. Nei, who is an emeritus member of GSA, is Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Director of the Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics at Penn State University. He received GSA's Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal in 2006 for lifetime achievement in the field of genetics. Nei is recognized for his contributions to molecular evolutionary biology.

Several members of the GSA community have been elected to membership in EMBO, a European organization of more than 1,500 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. EMBO's goals are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.  GSA congratulates:

  • Michael Boutros, Germany Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) & University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Lars Steinmetz, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany
  • Yoshinori Ohsumi, Frontier Research Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan (Associate Member)

Boutros and Steinmetz are also Associate Editors for GSA's journal G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics.

Other News of Interest

Genetic techniques are rapidly gaining world recognition.  Over the past forty to fifty years, recombinant DNA technology has had a hand in improving modern agriculture.  In recognition of this, the 2013 World Food Prize has been awarded to three scientists for their achievements in unlocking the key to plant cell transformation using recombinant DNA. GSA congratulates the laureates: Marc Van Montagu, Mary-Dell Chilton, and Robert Fraley.

GSA welcomes the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) as the newest member of FASEB. Among other activities, AMP was the lead plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court case which established that naturally occurring DNA sequences are not eligible for patent protection


The U.S. House of Representative failed to pass the Farm Bill on a vote of 195-234. In addition to the attention-getting issues of food stamps and agriculture subsidies, the Farm Bill provides authorization for USDA's research programs, including the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Please let us know how constrained budgets for federal science agencies are impacting your research including—but not limited to—the effect of sequestration by completing this survey launched to help scientific societies talk about the impact of budget cuts to policymakers in Washington.

Other Meetings of Interest

The 26th Annual Mouse Molecular Genetics meeting will be held at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge, UK from September 18-12, 2013.  This pivotal meeting provides a place for researchers applying genetics and genomics to address fundamental issues in biology to come together, share unpublished results, and promote collaboration.  The abstract deadline is July 19, 2013, and the deadline for registration is August 7, 2013. The GSA will be sponsoring the Mouse Molecular Genetics conference in 2014.

And finally…

Some recent highlights from the GSA social networking platforms.  Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:

  • The Scientist offers an update on what we're learning from genome sequencing, including:
    • news on the genomes of the Mallard duck, floating bladderwort, leprosy-causing bacterium, zebrafish, Norway spruce, and a nematode cousin of C. elegans.
    • news on the genomes of a species of plankton, the fungus responsible for the Irish potato famine, the lotus, southern platyfish, and Bactrian camel.
  • Fashion Friday: researchers in Japan have genetically engineering silkworms to produce fluorescent silk. Now you can really light up a room when you enter.
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: July 12, 2013.  Send items to Beth Ruedi, eruedi@genetics-gsa.org.