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The Happy Medium

Mid-sized labs do best, says Jeremy Berg, the director of National Institute of General Medical Sciences who is known for blog posts chock full of data, reports Nature. Berg mined NIH data to study correlations between grant size and scientific output. He tells Nature that people had long said that once a lab grows large enough to be unwieldy to manage, it will see its number of publications per grant dollar decline, but that "no one actually had the data to put that in more quantitative terms." Plotting median number of publications and median impact factor against NIH funding, Berg found that both measures topped out at $750,000 in yearly funding. He notes, however, that "the average behaviour is not the behaviour of everybody." Check it out here.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.