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'Weed Out' the Diversity?

Science’s Jeffrey Mervis this week reports that the "time-honored practice of using introductory courses to weed out students seeking degrees in science and engineering hinders efforts to attract more women and minorities into those fields." Citing data from a survey conducted by the Bayer Foundation, in which "more than 400 chairs from the top-200 research universities and from minority-serving institutions responded to a series of questions on their attitudes toward underrepresented minorities," Mervis says 46 percent of respondents indicated that such courses generally hamper diversity. The foundation's Rebecca Lucore calls her team's results "eye-opening," telling Science that she and her colleagues "were shocked last year when many of the students said that [college] was where they were discouraged from going on in science."

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.