A Symbol, at Least

At DrugMonkey, PhysioProf says "co-first authorship is a sham, and only serves as a political compromise to placate non-first authors" and that peer reviewers and academic committees "give little additional weight to the designation.” In the comments, TreeFish says, "The study section members who infer meaning from that are either (1) ignorant of the significance and approach of the paper; (2) petty; or (3) both." What do you say?

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.