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'A Step in the Right Direction'

Ian Brooks at A Meandering Scholar and PZ Myers at Pharyngula both applaud President Obama's request for a six percent increase in the National Research Service Award stipends for postdoctoral scientists. This increase would be "a step in the right direction" and would "mean a lot to most postdocs, even if it is largely symbolic," Brooks says. Myers writes that, while not every postdoc is paid by the National Institutes of Health, the increase "does provide a benchmark for what the typical postdoc salary should be." Which is still not much, Brooks points out, saying "their work should be appreciated by paying something better than the average $7.50 per hour they currently make (seriously, do the math and assume your average postdoc works around 60 hours per week)." Myers urges his readers to support the National Postdoctoral Association's efforts. "It sure would be nice if scientists could be paid a living wage commensurate with the investment in their education," he writes.

The Scan

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.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.