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This Week in Science: May 16, 2008

An editorial from Alan Leshner says that funding agencies need to make more of an effort "to foster innovation and creativity while [young investigators] are at their peak." A scientist who receives a Starting Independent Researcher Grant from European Research Council or new investigators funded by the US's NIH are about six years past receiving their PhD. "No wonder there is concern about filling the pipeline of scientists. One has to wait until near middle age before getting one's own research program in full gear," write Leshner.

Italian researchers are protesting favoritism and the lack of peer review in allocating national science funding. The uproar began when scientists learned that the €3 million Italy budgeted for stem cell research had been assigned, even before any calls for grant applications. A petition is now asking for the government to set up an agency to allocate research funds through a transparent peer-review process.

Science reports that Nancy Jenkins turned down an invitation to join the US National Academy of Sciences since her husband and scientific partner, Neal Copeland, was not included. "It is impossible to separate my contributions from Neal's as we did everything together on an equal basis. … Someday, if both of us have a chance to accept this honor together, it would be the highlight of our scientific careers," Jenkins wrote to the Academy.

Researchers led by a Swiss group assembled a proteome map of Arabidopsis thaliana from catalogs they made of different organs, developmental stages, and undifferentiated cultured cells. Through analyzing their new proteome map, they identified organ-specific biomarkers and made a list of organ-specific proteoptypic peptides for 4,105 proteins. These maps, the authors write, "are key to the successful design of such targeted proteomics surveys."


The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.