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Getting Back Up

Russia is slowly rebuilding its scientific workforce and capacity, Nature News reports, noting there have been hiccups along the way.

Following the decline of the Soviet Union, the Russian economy fell and investment in science with it, it adds, noting that the scientific workforce is now about a third of what it once was. But Nature News writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has pushed for an effort to revive Russia's scientific sector. For instance, it notes that Putin launched a national research in 2018 to last through 2024 that includes increased funding and new labs. Additionally, the Russian Science Foundation was established in 2014 to award research grants based on independent peer review.

While Nature News says there has been a jump in the number of papers published by Russian researchers, it adds that earlier this year hundreds of Russian-language papers were retracted in a plagiarism scandal. A commission put together by the Russian Academy of Sciences called for the retraction of more than 2,500 research articles after finding instances of plagiarism, article duplications, and unclear authorships. The Skoltech Center of Life Sciences' Mikhail Gelfand, a bioinformatician who was part of that review, tells Nature News that "[r]etracting plagiarized papers and shaming the worst offenders is exactly the right thing to do."

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.