Big Deal?

After receiving a promotional email from Elsevier, DrugMonkey considers what constitutes a noteworthy change in a journal's impact factor at his blog this week. The email, he says, advertises that one of the publisher's many titles saw a 0.336 boost in its impact factor from 2010 to 2011.

"Is this a significant difference? Who gives a hoot if the IF [impact factor] goes up by 0.336?" DrugMonkey asks. "Is this in any way meaningful?"

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Helix customers can purchase apps that interpret different aspects of their genome, Technology Review reports.

The New York Times reports that a number of companies and research institutes are pursuing gene therapies.

Salmon with shorter telomeres survive to make the trip back to their river homes, New Scientist reports.

In PLOS this week: vaginal microbiome composition, population patterns of Chagas-carrying Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, and more.