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(Overly) Alternative Science Careers

In a guest post at the Just Another Electron Pusher blog, Chemjobber says that when it comes to alternative careers in science, not all options are good ones. Chemists, he says, are unlikely to be fit for careers as fashion designers, diplomats, traffic cops, or organic farmers. ("The confusion between organic food and organic chemistry would be enough to make your head explode," he says.) Postdoctoral scientists seeking employment probably wouldn't make the best motivational speakers, either: "'So the reason that you should live your dreams and strive for excellence is… is… is… 'cause I’ve been here five years and I desperately need a job!'" Chemjobber exaggerates. In imagining what it'd be like to be pulled over by a PhD scientist, he envisions the conversation going as follows: "'Yeah, I don’t really know how fast you were going, either. Probably 45 [miles per hour], plus or minus five or 10. What is the margin of error on this thing, anyway?'" While he acknowledges that there are plenty of attractive alternative science career prospects, "for those of you contemplating leaving graduate school or a postdoc for something — anything — else … don't try any of these," Chemjobber says.

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.