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From the Bench to the Board

Bitesize Bio's Vicki Ronaldson this week says that "despite the temptation to play down past academic pursuits amongst more corporate peers, a look at the top level management, or even the board, of any global life science or technology company will reveal a high percentage of PhDs, all of whom started out at the bench." But, she says, transitioning from academic research to the corporate world can be tough.

Ronaldson says once a researcher leaves an "environment where everything is measured on academic merit … people's perception of you becomes an issue."

"The reaction to your PhD can generally go one of two ways. Non-scientists in particular, and much to our embarrassment, can be quite in awe of the fact that we are 'doctors,'" Ronaldson says. "On the other hand … you get the 'Oh gosh I could never understand all that brainy stuff,'" she adds.

In discussing the "value of a PhD in the 'real world,'" Ronaldson says it's common to sell one's credentials according to one's audience. "I've found … it met with varying degrees of awe, incomprehension, or even disdain," she says.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.