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Apparently Humor and Gobbledygook Don't Help

Samuel Arbesman, in reflecting on a 2008 Journal of Information Science paper in which researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology examined "whether the use of humor in scientific article titles is associated with the number of citations an article receives," says that "humor aside, there is the additional problem of whether or not a paper is well-written." While he'd "love to have evidence that well-written papers do better," Arbesman says that so far, "bafflegab" — his word, which is apparently synonymous with gobbledygook, meaning "wordy and generally unintelligible jargon," according to Merriam-Webster — doesn't appear to increase a paper's prestige, according to the University of Pennsylvania's J. Scott Armstrong, who published his survey of bafflegab in the scientific literature in the same journal in 1989.

HT: Bio-Rad's The American Biotechnologist blog

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.