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Changing the Way Researchers Are Trained

"The question is, do we need to rethink how academia functions?" asks blogger Michael White at Adaptive Complexity. White draws on a recent article from Louis Menand in Harvard Magazine who writes — though he focuses mostly on the humanities — that graduate education is a "lengthy apprenticeship" that doesn't necessarily prepare those students who will be taking jobs outside of academia. White says the problem isn't as bad in the sciences, but agrees that "there is a huge inefficiency in the training system." White writes:

But do you really need a 7-year PhD in cell biology, followed by a 3-year postdoc to work for Merck doing drug discovery? In many cases, the answer is no, and this is why proposals are floating around for creating professional masters degree programs in the biomedical sciences, much like those that already exist in engineering.
The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.