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In Review: The Birth of PLoS, DNA-Inspired Dance, Prepping Ancient Samples for Genomic Analysis, More


In September 2001, Genome Technology pointed to a report in its sister publication BioInform that detailed how the Public Library of Science's Michael Eisen and 25,000 of his supporters had issued an ultimatum to several top-tier journals — at the time, they pledged to publish in, edit or review for, and subscribe to only those publications that agreed to deposit all articles in PubMed or another freely accessible resource within six months of their initial publication. Should the journals not agree to those terms, PLoS would go rogue, publishing its own journals, BioInform reported. Incorporated and launched in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, PLoS now publishes peer-reviewed, open-access content under seven titles. In 2009, the organization launched a forum for the rapid communication of new, expert-reviewed research findings, PLoS Currents. And in 2010, PLoS launched one such forum that is devoted to research on genomic tests.

Five years ago, GT reported on choreographer Liz Lerman's artistic interpretation of the human -genome. Lerman, who premiered her opus "Ferocious Beauty: Genome" in 2006, has since taken her DNA-inspired dance on the road. In 2009, she and her company brought the composition to James Madison University, where student participants "constructed themselves into a human genome" as part of their campus orientation activities, the Harrisonburg, Va.-based Rocktown Weekly reported at the time. This past January, Lerman shared the JMU stage with National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, where the two discussed the interplay between art and science.

And in September 2010, GT examined how researchers were using modern approaches to prepare ancient samples for sequencing and mass spectrometric analysis. The University of York's Michael Hofreiter told GT that next-generation sequencing "has had an enormous effect" on ancient DNA analysis. In May, a team led by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario reported its assembly of a complete mitochondrial genome from a Columbian mammoth based on DNA samples derived from approximately 11,000-year-old fossilized tusk and bone fragments.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.