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A Gold Star

In The Scientist, Jeff Akst writes that NIH reviewers who have participated in funding rounds since the shorter applications and new guidelines were put into place are generally happy with the changes. "I think it's an improvement over the old system, but I think there is a learning curve and until everyone recalibrates there may be a period of confusion," says Karin Rodland at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Writedit at Medical Writing, Editing & Grantsmanship adds that, based on the summary statements, she is pleased. “I especially like the ability (or perhaps increased tendency) of reviewers to comment directly on the advisability of resubmission. And I’m happy with the way SROs are preparing the Resume & Summary of Discussion paragraphs as well,” she writes. “I like the short applications. I like the reviews. The paylines, not so much.”

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.