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What to Get the Scientist in Your Life

Not sure what to get your science-minded loved ones for the holidays? Here are a few ideas:

As a list at The Scientist mentions, there are plush microbes and viruses for the microbiologists, virologists, or physicians in your life. Giardia is oddly cute, and MRSA is rather dashing. In addition, The Scientist lists this ring that fulfills an important dual purpose: opening Eppendorf tools and beer bottles. And if you can get a cheek swab without too much bother, you can order a DNA portrait here. However, if you want to get more information from that DNA, 23andMe has extended its holiday sale through the 25th.

Gizmodo has a list for the gadget-oriented, naming the year's best motherboards, best smartphone per US carrier, best cameras, and more. And then for the people in your life who are constantly updating their Twitter feed, Survival of the Hippest makes hashtag jewelry, as Whizbang points out.

Crafty online retailer Etsy is a treasure trove of offbeat science-related items. There are Petri dish-themed soaps, DNA and molecule jewelry, and glass products with a helix or DNA on them. And there's more for the little scientists: basepair toddler shirts, a poster to learn the alphabet with DNA, or glow-in-the-dark chromosomes.

For the more bookish types, Sheril Kirshenbaum at The Intersection blog recommends Vanessa Woods's Bonobo Handshake, Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and Brian Switek's Written in Stone, among others, for grown-ups. For kids, she likes The Physics of the Buffyverse or The Physics of Star Trek.

In addition, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press is having a holiday sale for those with a more academic bent to their reading. Cold Spring Harbor has titles on experimental design, protein purification, as well as ones on the lives of Sydney Brenner and Francis Crick.

For the coffee-lovers, the folks at the Annals of Improbable Research suggest their own improbable mug that reads "Please Stop. I'm Bored" perhaps for the person in your life who is too polite to actually say that.

For the overworked budding scientist, Chemjobber suggest that fresh produce makes a good gift, as grad students often don't have much fruit or vegetable intake beyond what appears on a pizza.

Finally, if none of these ideas work, Tech Crunch suggests that you use the Taste Test at Etsy or use Hunch's Gift-O-Matic.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.