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All Things Being Equal

At his blog, Mike the Mad Biologist writes that he has long been in favor of NIH issuing more targeted RFAs and allowing program officers more discretion in awarding grants. A fellow blogger, DrugMonkey found that under the new NIH scoring system, impact scores tend to cluster. "I like that the POs are going to have to look at the tied applications and really think about them," DrugMonkey writes. "It doesn't guarantee a given PO will come to the decision that you or I would, but at least they have to make a decision based on something related to the content of the application." Mike the Mad Biologist agrees, adding that "removing some decision making from study sections, and returning it to the NIH, that's a very good step."

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.