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July 9, 2014

Society News

The 2014 Zebrafish meeting was a hit! Thanks to the nearly 900 participants for joining us in Madison, Wisconsin. And congratulations to Andrea Pauli (Harvard Univ) for receiving the Chi-Bin Chien Award. Catch up on all the action through the hashtag #ZFISH2014 and browse through the pictures on Facebook.

Mouse Molecular Genetics 2014 The 27th Annual Mouse Molecular Genetics Conference abstract submission deadline is TOMORROW (July 10). Make sure your important research is included by submitting your abstract today. The registration and housing deadline is on July 31, and the conference be September 29–October 3 in Pacific Grove, CA.

The 2014 Yeast Genetics Meeting is almost here! Registration spots are still open for this jam-packed conference in sunny Seattle, July 29–August 3.

The registration and housing deadline for the 15th International Xenopus Conference, August 24–28 in Pacific Grove, CA, is coming up on July 24.  Don’t miss out on the latest genomics and technological advances that are accelerating research in this organism!

TAGC 2016

Mark your calendars for the The Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC) being held July 13–17, 2016! This GSA meeting will bring our genetics communities together in what GSA Vice-President Jasper Rine calls the “Olympics of Genetics.” Click here to stay up to date!

GSA is now accepting nominations for the 2015 GSA Awards! Nominate your colleagues who haveistinguished themselves in the genetics community for any of the five annual GSA Awards:

Please pass this information on! To help provide a diverse pool of nominees that represents the excellence in our discipline, GSA encourages the nomination of women and individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in science. The deadline for 2015 award nominations is September 21, 2014.

The GSA Journals
Platyfish male over a circle plot where each line connects a cognition gene with its teleost genome duplicate. Tu: melanoma tumor control region on sex chromosome. R/Diff: tumor suppressor locus on chromosome 5. Image credit: Manfred Schartl and Ingo Braasch.

Genetic maps, 100 years later: One feverish night, just over 100 years ago, an undergraduate in Thomas Hunt Morgan’s lab created the first genetic map. Realizing that the frequency of crossing over could be used to work out out the linear order of genes on a chromosome, that student, Alfred Sturtevant, published his map in 1913 and laid the foundation for a century of genome analysis. Today, even with the rise of rapid sequencing methods, meiotic maps still play a critical role in assembling whole genome sequences and tracing the evolution of genomes. In this month’s issue of GENETICS, Amores et al. use meiotic mapping to reveal some surprising features of genome evolution in fish. [more...]

Live long or prosper: The first gene shown to extend lifespan when mutated was age-1, substantially increasing longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mutations in age-1, along with other life-extending disruptions of insulin-like signaling, may shift this delicate balance toward longevity and away from investment in reproduction. Despite the importance of this tradeoff, little is known about selection on longevity in the wild. In the latest issue of G3, Jovelin et al. present evidence for positive directional selection and a recent global selective sweep on age-1 in C. remanei, a highly variable sister species of C. elegans. [more...]

Included in this Issue:

June Issue

June Issue


Program Assistant, Expecting Health, Genetic Alliance, Washington, DC

Director of the Center for Applied Clinical Genomics, Nemours, Wilmington, DE

Senior Researcher / Lab mananger, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Postdoctoral Fellow, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Scientific Program Manager, American Society of Human Genetics, Bethesda, MD

Director, Genomics Research, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Attractive Medical Genetics Opportunity in the Midwest, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI

Director, Research Programs - PCRI, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Bioinformatician/Scientist, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioinformatics and Comparative Genomics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Genetics Lead, Sapling Learning, Austin, TX

Posdoctoral Position in Plant Genomics / Bioinformatics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Members in the News
Andrew Murray
Andrew Murray, 2014 HHMI Professor

GSA member and GENETICS editor Andrew Murray (Harvard Univ) is among 15 leading scientist-educators to be named an HHMI professor by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Each will receive $1 million over five years to create activities that integrate their research with student learning in ways that enhance undergraduate students’ understanding of science. Murray is one of several GSA members to be honored for his commitment to education by being named an HHMI professor since the program was established in 2002. [more...]

Congratulations to GSA member Sama Ahmed and the UCSF Science Policy Group for receiving the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for “Best Viral Video” from the Foundation for Biomedical Research. Ahmed and fellow graduate student Florie Charles accepted the award on behalf of the group in Washington last month. The video, “Funding Basic Science to Revolutionize Medicine,” also won the grand prize in FASEB’s Stand Up for Science video contest earlier this year.

Andrea Pauli
Congratulations to GSA member Andrea (Andi) Pauli (Harvard Univ) for receiving the Chi-Bin Chien Award at GSA’s recent International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics and presenting an excellent award lecture at the conference on the topic of pervasive translation. The award is given to an outstanding graduate student, postdoctoral trainee, or recently appointed faculty member who has made significant contributions to the field of zebrafish research and has exhibited the generosity and openness that characterized and motivated its namesake. The award is funded by donations to a charitable fund established to honor Chi-Bin’s memory. Those wishing to contribute can do so on the GSA website. [more…]

Education and Professional Development

Call for educational resources covering the nature of genetic material! Have you developed something useful for your classroom that covers at least one of the core competencies in genetics? GSA PREP seeks useful resources of all sizes, from a single case-study to a full course, that will be peer reviewed and published by GSA. We also seek high-quality images and animations and useful laboratory protocols. Our current call for resources covers the core category “Nature of genetic material,” which includes several different concepts in genetics and genomics. Submit your resources to GSA PREP today, and join other authors who are reaping the benefits of published resources (with DOIs) that will be seen by thousands of visitors to GSA PREP and the LifeSciTRC library! The deadline for this call for resources  is August 31, 2014.

Many initiatives seek to address the “leaky pipeline” in STEM careers, which is especially relevant for women and underrepresented minorities--—a great many of the students starting out in STEM programs don’t end up with STEM PhDs or jobs.  A recent blog entry at the Huffington Post pointed out that, “built into this pipeline metaphor is the assumption that the pipeline lays flat and the momentum of every individual going through is unchanged. The data tell a different story.” The authors have done extensive work reviewing education research and conducted experiments promoting STEM diversity at their university, and they make several recommendations for addressing the “leak” in the pipeline.

Funding, Fellowships, and Awards

Calling all young scientists with bright ideas: now’s your chance to enter the Falling Walls Lab competition for innovative solutions to the challenges of our time. Designed to mark the anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall by breaking through societal walls, this international competition aims to foster scientific, entrepreneurial visions, as well as exchanges between academics of varying disciplines. Over 20 academic institutions worldwide are organizing the preliminary rounds for 2014, with the final in Berlin this November. Three winners will be awarded a cash prize and present their idea to 600 attendees of the Falling Walls conference. Submit your wall-breaking idea today!

The United StatesIndia Science and Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF), which promotes joint U.S.–India activities that would lead to innovation and entrepreneurship through the application of science and technology, has issued a new call for proposals with a deadline of August 16, 2014.

The United States–Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) offers Fulbright Israel Post-Doctoral Fellowships to American post-doctoral scholars in all academic disciplines who are about to begin a program of research at Israeli higher education institutions. Applications are due August 1, 2014.


Current or recent graduate students with an interest in science policy may be interested in applying for the National Academies’ Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program. Fellows spend 12 weeks at the National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council) in Washington, DC, learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation. The program is designed to broaden fellows’ appreciation of employment opportunities in science policy and leave them with a firm grasp of the role of science and technology in decision-making. The fellowship offers an $8500 stipend. Applications are due September 1, 2014.

Applications are also now open for the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships. The aim is to foster scientifically informed, evidence-based policy and practice by involving scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines, backgrounds and career stages, and to build leadership for a strong science and technology enterprise that benefits all people. Fellows engage their knowledge and analytical skills while learning first-hand about policymaking and implementation at the federal level. AAAS offers policy fellowships in the Executive, Congressional, and Judicial Branches. Stipends are provided. Applications are due November 1, 2014.

Hot new research

And finally…

Recent highlights from the GSA’s social networking platforms. Keep up with the buzz by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:

  • The Scientist features the work of several GSA members in reporting on new research on the neurobiology of mating behavior in female Drosophila
  • The New York Times Magazine discusses mitochondrial replacement therapy (or three-parent IVF) in depth, including its promise for preventing a host of diseases, ethical implications, and recent legislative debates
  • A new study featured on Slate indicates that elite male faculty in biology employ fewer women in their labs and calls for action to reverse this disappointing trend
  • Bite-sized research: Scientists were asked to describe their research in one 140-character tweet using the #1tweetresearch hashtag. Check out a compilation of the results
  • How will science and technology affect our lives in the next decade? Check out 10 predictions for innovations we will see in 2025!
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 18, 2014. Send items (and feedback) to GSA's Communications and Engagement Manager, Raeka Aiyar,