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Out with the Old?

At The Scientist, George Lundberg says it's time for science and medical publishing to get with modern times and embrace the Internet age. Despite advances in modern technology and the efforts of open-access proponents, subscription-only journals and traditional peer review remain firmly entrenched in the publishing culture, Lundberg says. But now, "mature Internet technologies coupled with exploding genomic data may lead to inexorable transformation in scientific publishing, parallel to the change that is rocking biomedical disciplines themselves," he adds. Social media technologies should also become part of scientific communication, he suggests, citing that it was the idea of merging these new communication technologies with new genomic technologies that brought about the launch of Cancer Commons, "a 21st-century, nonprofit publishing platform," for which Lundberg is editor-in-chief. This new platform serves as an open-science community for clinicians, researchers, and patients to collaborate in developing better therapies, Lundberg says. And though there are challenges to making this work, it could serve as a model for 21st century publishing, he adds.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.