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The Next Big Thing

There was once a time that researchers had to be convinced that molecular population genetics was useful, says Mike the Mad Biologist. Once the field became popular, the "early adopters" who were regularly using PCR and clone-based sequences were "hot intellectual commodities" — that is until the field became overcrowded, and nearly every department already had a molecular population geneticist. A few years before that, Mike says, there was a similar phenomenon in marine biology with clonal invertebrate biologists. So which niche is next? According to Mike, it's bacterial population genomics. "Over the next 12 to 36 months, we will be swamped with thousands of bacterial genomes. … Anyone who can come up with interesting ways to analyze hundreds of relatively similar genomes at once will be in great demand," he says. Should history repeat itself, this window of opportunity will only be open for a couple of years before "crowding" occurs, so if you're interested, Mike says, get in now.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.