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Garage Biology Bad for Science?

Oscillator's Christina Agapakis blogs about projects, like DIYbio, "that aim to 'democratize' scientific research." While she acknowledges that DIYbio has spurred growth in scientific participation and "unparalleled" enthusiasm, she asks, "Who is benefitting from the push for DIYbio?... Who can afford to do unpaid work in the first place, not to even mention self-funded research in molecular biology?" Agapakis says that DIYbio might actually perpetuate social divisions in science in its efforts to dismantle them. "Science isn't and shouldn't be the sport of the privileged," she writes, adding that anyone can do science, and while "garage biotechnologists and grad school dropouts will likely come up with powerful technologies and perhaps even empires to rival those of Microsoft, Apple, and Google," for science to be "truly democratic," emphasis should be placed on open, shared work within institutions across "academic or industrial barriers."

The Scan

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

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Rett Syndrome Mouse Model Study Points to RNA Editing Possibilities

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Investigators Find Shared, Distinct Genetic Contributors to Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

An association study in JAMA Network Open uncovers risk variants within and beyond the human leukocyte antigen locus.

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.