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The Summer of Access

It has been a summer for open-access advocates, writes the Chronicle of Higher Education. The British government has adopted a policy calling for publicly supported research to be made freely available to the public and the European Commission is making open access part of its Horizon 2020 framework. It's not just Europe, the Chronicle says, adding that Australia, too, is moving in the open-access direction. The new CEO of the Australian Research Council, Aidan Byrne, tells the Chronicle that he is studying the issue and he "will be making a determination on this issue quickly to ensure clarity for the sector."

However, the Chronicle notes that there has been criticism of the new policies, mainly in that they seem to favor a certain type of open-access model that gives publishers more control. "As the systems evolve, they're going to figure out what works and what doesn't work," Berkeley researcher and PLOS founder Michael Eisen says. "It's really the guiding principles that are important."

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.