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An Unconventional Path

The Foundation for Biomedical Research's Paul McKellips spent around five months this year training the Afghan National Army in best media practices. "It was his second stint in this line of work, having helped train the Iraqi National Army a few years earlier," The Appleton (Wis.) Post-Crescent's Shane Nyman says in a profile of McKellips' career path. "His work overseas is just one of many road-less-traveled bullet points on the resume for the 52-year-old, who just released his first novel, the bio-terror thriller, Uncaged," Nyman adds. McKellips, who is now executive vice president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, had been home recuperating from an injury he sustained in Iraq when the foundation phoned him, asking whether "I was looking for something different, and my wife responded, 'Yes, he is,'" he tells the Post-Crescent. "I didn’t have any background in science or in medicine, but when the foundation approached me and said, 'What we need is to have a media professional that’s running the organization so that we can start to encourage our young people to consider science as a career, and those who support our universities and our medical schools' … I looked at it and I said, well you know, over all of the wars we’ve fought in American history, we’ve lost about 1.3 million [people], yet last year alone more than 1.7 million died from heart disease and cancer and stroke and respiratory disease and diabetes, so it really became a new war front for me to try to get out the word about the impact of science," McKellips adds.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.