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New EU Research Head Touts Innovation, Lack of Science Experience

Martin Enserink at ScienceInsider reports that Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the newly confirmed EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science, spoke with reporters on Wednesday and that she “promised to tackle all of the intractable problems in EU science policy — but she avoided going into details.” Geoghegan-Quinn, an Irish politician, acknowledged her lack of experience in science and science policy, according to Enserink, but maintained that it would be an advantage, saying “I have always said that a doctor should never be a minister of health and a lawyer should never be minister of justice. ... It’s better to look at things with a fresh mind.” ScienceInsider reports that in her new position, Geoghegan-Quinn will be key in developing Europe 2020, an initiative that aims to boost the EU economy through knowledge.

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.