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Nose to the Grindstone

MIT's Pierre Azoulay studies scientists' productivity and in a Q&A with The Scientist says scientific productivity is measured "badly." It is done through "proxies — things like counts of publications, of patents, of citations to those publications or to those patents," he says. Azoulay also discusses the effect of funding style on productivity, comparing NIH-funded researchers to HHMI researchers. "What we found is that, in terms of impact, the HHMI [funded scientists] really produce a lot more high impact papers than the controls," he says. "Is this because of incentives or because of other things? We can't be quite definitive. Maybe [what] matters is just the increased resources. And we can't really solve that out with our data."

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.