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Stop Complaining

For those who complain that writing grants takes away from the time you could be spending "doing science," blogger DrugMonkey says grant writing is, indeed, part of doing said science. A commenter, Grumble, on DrugMonkey's blog recently said that grant writing isn't science, it's "fund-raising," and that keeping his lab afloat by submitting a constant stream of grants has left "precious little time … for anything else." However, DrugMonkey says that, yes, there will be times in your life as a PI when you will do nothing but write grants, but "grantsmithing is a skill that you refine with practice," and as you get better at it, it will take up less time. Second, he adds, the intellectual work that goes into writing grants "is the very essence of 'doing science,'" especially as a PI. "Setting a longer term strategic plan for a few years' worth of experiments is a good idea, is it not?" DrugMonkey asks, adding "Thinking hard about what the existing data, beyond the Abstract level, really mean when it comes to betting your experimental effort. Figuring out what collaborative relationships are going to kick it up a notch or two. Putting a fine focus on the exact preliminary experiments you've done or need to do" is all part of doing science and has to be done to make science happen in the lab. In other words, DrugMonkey adds, "Time to grow up, Assistant Professors."

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.