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'A Symbiotic Relationship'

The Philippine Star's Dominic Foo and Raymond Tan emphasize the importance of productive PhD students for running a successful academic research program. "Our personal advice is to hire one good PhD student, rather than having several of average quality. The principle of 'quality over quantity' allows one to retain focus," Foo and Tan write.

While they say that "getting a good PhD student is an essential step in establishing a thriving research career," the authors stress that PIs ought never to take advantage of their trainees. "We have seen many cases where students have been neglected by supervisors, which often ends up with delayed completion of degree/research project, or even the complete abandonment of PhD studies by the student," Foo and Tan write. "This is no doubt a waste of resources as well as the precious time of the students."

Mentoring PhD students is not to be taken lightly, the authors add. "The bottom line is to maintain a symbiotic relationship, where the supervisor gains by being able to delegate part of his or her research to a qualified apprentice, while the student gains both a postgraduate degree and the intangible skills of doing research properly," they say.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.