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In Charge

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins says that by surrounding himself with people smarter than himself, he becomes a better leader. He tells the Washington Post that “one of my favorite quotes is from Woodrow Wilson: ‘I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.’” In addition, to keep people working at NIH from getting discouraged, the employees celebrate new advances. Collins says he thinks “it is helpful for employees to see concrete evidence that their work is leading to great things on a regular basis.” However, he does say he's concerned about recruiting younger researchers to the institute because they hear a lot about budget woes. “One of my challenges is to make sure that the message about the sustainability and future promise of biomedical research is coming across, even if we have to tighten our belts right now,” Collins adds.

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.