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What a Year It's Been

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As Genome Technology and GenomeWeb celebrate our first birthday in September, we’re stopping to catch our breath and offer a bunch of thank yous. Like many of the institutions and companies we write about, GenomeWeb is a startup, so for the past year we’ve experienced the same ups and downs as many of our readers and advertisers. We’re bursting out of our office space with 70 percent more staff than a year ago; we’re pondering the question “at what price accelerated growth?”; we’re watching a sullen stock market as publishers and dot-coms all around us in New York lay off staff; and we’re counting our blessings for the robustness of life sciences R&D.

Having reached the one-year milestone in good health, we’ve got many people to be grateful to. To the 105 advertisers who paid for pages in the magazine this year, (some of them even before we corrected the chirality of our logo), our tribute is on page 12.

And while our advertisers are keeping us in the money, it’s the continuous stream of letters and pats on the back from our readers that keep us in great spirits. Your responses to a survey we conducted this summer delighted us: some of you spend as many as four hours reading a typical issue of GT, 10 percent of you even read us in the loo, and you’re visiting our website more often than any but GenBank. Among other measures, such as laughing often and leaving the world a better place, the poet-philosopher Emerson defined success as “to win the respect of intelligent people” and “to earn the appreciation of honest critics.” You’re telling us we’re on the right track.

By now, regular readers are familiar with our editors’ bylines and our artists’ signatures. But as our advertisers and other customers know, there’s a team behind the scenes here at GenomeWeb without which those of us creating the content would have to pack up and go home (see p. 16). Public praise is in order for them too. [Headhunters stop reading here.]

Salesman Extraordinaire Paul Towlen, who was recently promoted to Director of Business Development, deserves most of the credit/blame for the weight of the magazine you now hold. Since issue #1, he’s been terrorizing our editors at press time with the threat of adding yet more ad pages that require that much more copy on the flip side. The title “Senior Account Manager” gives no clue to what Yaron Varsano and Chris Rockaway are like in action, hustling at trade shows and working the phones in the office, where they keep the rest of us energized with wild hoots that signal when they’ve closed another deal. Of course, if not for Sofia Minchenko tracking their paperwork, we might be giving away our advertising.

Our circulation database maven Miriam Smith is to thank for the fact that our publications reach you at all (and if they don’t, she’s the one to hound). Erika Rullman, whose smiling face will greet you at our trade show booth, is the one not letting you let your BioInform and BioArray News subscriptions lapse.

Gwen Libsohn is the multi-tasking goddess who, among other things, keeps our staff equipped with computers, traffics advertising, fulfills orders for reprints, and keeps the GenomeWeb calendar of events up to date. Otherwise, for keeping the operation from barreling off the tracks, Karen Richmond is queen. Our editorial and art departments say bravo to the rest of our team, and each of us thanks you for making our first anniversary celebration possible.

 

Adrienne J. Burke Editor-in-Chief

 

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.