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Where the Awesome, and Awkward, Spark Progress

The Scientist examines team-building efforts that take place on the snowy slopes of Stowe, Vt., and the Las Vegas strip. Each year, members of George Daley's lab at Children's Hospital Boston pack up their winter weather gear and "a collection of red and white wines" to take on their ski trip "labcation," during which they bond over karaoke, making sushi, and tobogganing, The Scientist says. Similarly, members of Vijay Pande's lab and Russ Altman's group at Stanford University, as well researchers in Brian Schoichet's lab at the University of California, San Francisco, took a trip this year to the Las Vegas strip for "cocktails, all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbeque, live shows and ... a little gambling" in order to foster their scientific collaboration. Paul Novick, a graduate student in the Pande Lab, tells The Scientist that the trip helped the group build a stronger bond. "When you see Russ Altman sing 'Poker Face,' you feel a lot more comfortable approaching him with new scientific ideas," he says.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.