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When to Revamp Your Research Focus

Blogger Candid Engineer in Academia says the postdoctoral training period is the perfect time for PhDs to "reinvent" their research repertoires. It's "not that you can't reinvent yourself as a professor," she says, "but it appears to become significantly more challenging" as institutions and funding agencies are less likely to "take a chance" on faculty who wish to make significant changes to their line of work, especially those early in their careers. In a comment, however, Comrade PhysioProf contends that the opposite is actually the case: "Once you are a PI, if you can present good preliminary data in a new area, you have as good a chance of getting funding to pursue that area as anyone else," he says, adding that postdocs can often be limited in their research roles and scopes by the terms of their training grants. Blogger Dr. Becca weighs in, saying that "it can be done in either position, but you have to be smart about it." Postdocs shouldn't reinvent themselves "too much, because when it comes time for that job talk, you need a cohesive story about who you are, not a showcase of all the techniques you've collected," Becca says.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.