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Scientists Not 'Nerd-Like Individuals'

Helen Pearson discusses a talk given by Pete Agre, AAAS president, in a Nature In the Field blog post. At the annual AAAS meeting, Agre described combating the stigmas that accompany scientists as a big challenge within the discipline. Agre said that it’s important that researchers overcome the “common impression of scientists as ‘nerd-like individuals’ and convey the ‘passionate humans we really are,’” Pearson writes. In his talk, Agre also highlighted individuals who have impacted his career and led to his success. Pearson says that she thinks these inspirational talks can be a bit overplayed. “Sometimes I think we hear too many stories along these same lines though: inspiration by amazing parent/teacher; serendipitous discovery; big idea, head of lab; understated success; and now looking back science is the best thing ever,” the blogger writes.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.