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A Worthy Path

In Scientific American, Beryl Lieff Benderly writes that for years, Americans have heard that there’s a shortage of scientists and that the US faces fierce competition from other nations, but, she adds, some labor economists disagree. “There is no scientist shortage,” says Richard Freeman, a Harvard University economist. Benderly points out that about 25 percent of American science PhDs candidates will find a faculty job and that about 15 percent of them will be at a large research university. “Many observers believe that the existing system of research by professors who constantly produce large numbers of scientists unlikely to achieve their career aspirations is near collapse. The real crisis in American science education is not young Americans’ inability to learn, or the schools’ inability to teach, but a distorted job market’s inability to provide them careers worthy of their abilities,” she writes.

HT: Mike the Mad Biologist

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.