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Without Having Done It, How Can We Know You Can Do It?

Michael White at Adaptive Complexity weighs in on NIH being risk-adverse in awarding its grants. It's not a new phenomenon, he says, but it means that more and more grants go to senior investigators and conservative projects at the loss of younger researcher and riskier work. White says he likes the idea put forth by Richard Klausner and David Baltimore in Nature last month. They suggest that, in the future, "funding criteria will put more weight on judgements about the individual who is applying." White says he likes that idea "principle" as it "shifts the emphasis away from generating large amounts of preliminary data ... the down side is that younger investigators with shorter track records will have less of an opportunity to get funding for something genuinely new."

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.