Over at the BenchFly blog, three well-established PIs, who've each trained dozens of grad students and postdocs, share their thoughts on "the characteristics that make a truly great graduate student." Charles Craik at the University of California, San Francisco, says that "great students show a sense of urgency," which is "critical" in science. Michael Marletta at UC Berkeley says that "drive, determination, and confidence" factor most in his lab.

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The Washington Post reports that a meteorologist is being considered as presidential science and technology advisor.

360Dx reports that the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would cover next-generation sequencing-based cancer panel tests.

In PNAS this week: precision medicine strategy to screen for disease risk, genome evolution in Haemophilus influenzae, and more.

Researchers have developed a PCR-based assay to gauge whether manatees are present in waters.