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It Includes Words We Don’t Like Saying

A former employee of Cofactor Genomics, a contract research organization that provides sequencing and bioinformatics services, is bringing a gender discrimination suit against the company that covers charges of sexual harassment and allegations of a cover-up.

The plaintiff, Grace Mueller, is claiming that her former supervisor, Paul Washburn, forced her to have sexually explicit conversations with him and that when she reported it, she was threatened and forced to lie.

An article from the Courthouse News Service describes Mueller's allegations against Washburn in rather lurid detail. We won't repeat them here, but, in short, they include unwelcome discussions about the size and use of private parts as well as unsolicited invitations to participate in activities that are generally of a personal nature.

Mueller claims, according to the article, that she complained to CEO Jarret Glasscock about Washburn's behavior, but that he "failed to conduct an investigation that adhered to the Cofactor Genomics employee handbook."

She's also claiming in the suit that she was forced to sign an agreement on Dec. 7, 2012, that stated "that she participated in the inappropriate conversations willingly and that Cofactor had responded in accordance with the employee handbook." She resigned that same day.

She is now seeking actual and punitive damages. She and her lawyer filed charges on Dec. 9, 2013 with the St. Louis City Court.

Meanwhile, Washburn still seems to be employed at Cofactor — that is if his LinkedIn page is up to date. He is listed as the company's logistics coordinator.

The Scan

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New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

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