GSA News

June 29, 2011   

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G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, GSA’s new open access peer-review journal, was officially launched on June 21!  G3 is focused on publishing large-scale datasets of high quality and utility, and provides access to full datasets and related research via links within the articles. Check out the inaugural June issue, and if you have completed data-rich foundational research, you are encouraged to submit an article to G3 for review!

Did you know. . . GENETICS was the first to hotlink articles to databases?  Some for-profit publishers are following the Journal’s lead, calling this the ‘article of the future.’ Submit your best work to GENETICS, where the future is already here.

The Genetics Society of America invites applications for the position of Executive Director, to begin service as soon as October 1, 2011 at GSA offices in Bethesda, MD.    To review responsibilities and qualifications, please see the ad at the link above.  For more information on GSA, please see our website.  Please pass this information along to colleagues who would be interested in this position. Deadline for application:  August 1, 2011.

Members in the News

Congratulations to six GSA members who are among 15 researchers to receive funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) to support innovative plant science research.  These six members are Simon Chan (UC Davis), Joseph Ecker (Salk Inst), Mark Estelle (UC-San Diego), Elliot Meyerowitz (Caltech), Krishna Niyogi (UC-Berkeley) and Craig Pikaard (Indiana Univ). To read more about their research, click on the links above.

Education and Outreach

Do you have a favorite experiment guaranteed to pique a young scientist’s interest?  The National Institutes of Health has started the K-12 Lessons About Bioscience (LAB) Challenge, which encourages “teachers, students, parents, scientists, and science enthusiasts to submit their favorite experiments for elementary, middle, and high school students.”  The winning experiments will be compiled into a free print or online publication.   Submission deadline: December 1, 2011.

HHMI has made some exciting announcements about undergraduate education, including their eighth undergraduate education competition, which will provide $60 million to fund several new grants focused on excellence in undergraduate education.  In addition, the Institute will launch a science documentary initiative to “create high-quality programming and disseminate it internationally through television, classrooms, and other media.”  This initiative will be under the direction of HHMI Vice President for Science Education and GSA Member Sean Carroll (HHMI/Univ of Wisconsin-Madison).    Finally, HHMI has announced the $1.8 million National Experiment in Undergraduate Science Education (NEXUS), which will “create and share effective models for teaching interdisciplinary science, including new courses and ways of assessing how well they work.”


Patent law made headlines this month, most notably with the passing of the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) in the House of Representatives.  The Senate passed their version of this patent reform act in March. With China about to surpass the United States and Japan in the number of patents published, the U.S. wanted to alter the costly system backing-up the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).  Notable changes in the patent law include a switch from “first-to-invent” to “first-inventor-to-file” standard of patent approval, and a pilot program allowing the PTO to reexamine questionable business-method patents.

Scientists at federally-funded research universities may see a clarification of wording in their patent rights agreements with their employers.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roche in the case of Stanford v. Roche, saying that Stanford could not claim patent infringement for HIV PCR testing technology developed by Dr. Mark Holodniy while he was employed by Stanford but collaborating with a Roche-acquired company called Cetus.  This relates to the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which essentially states that patent law should strive to make government-funded inventions easily accessible to researchers and the public.  The current ruling clarifies the Act, declaring that it “does not automatically vest title to federally funded inventions in federal contractors or authorize contractors to unilaterally take title to such inventions.”

Other Meetings of Interest

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Section on Statistical Genetics is pleased to announce their NHGRI-funded conference on Statistical Analyses for Next Generation Sequencing on September 26 - 27, 2011 in Birmingham, AlabamaDeadline for abstract submission:  August 14, 2011.

Several Gordon Research Conferences may be of particular interest, including:

Additionally, there are Gordon Research Seminars designed for “graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education come together in a highly-stimulating and non-intimidating environment to discuss their current research and build informal networks with their peers that may lead to a lifetime of collaboration and scientific achievement.”  These are typically held the weekend before the GRC of the same topic.  Please see the list of all Gordon Research Conferences and Seminars to examine all upcoming events in 2012.





June Issue



June Issue






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