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Giving It a Look-Over

Kirsty Duncan, Canada's science minister, has launched a review of the country's research efforts, ScienceInsider reports.

The review is to be headed up by David Naylor, the former president of the University of Toronto, and he tells ScienceInsider that the nine-person panel will examine "the whole ecosystem."

Naylor, a physician and medical researcher, previously led a task force convened under the previous Harper administration that called for changes to health care oversight and regulation, and shuttering the Canada Health Infoway, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in favor of a Health Innovation Fund and a Healthcare Innovation Agency of Canada. ScienceInsider notes that the Harper administration was displeased with the findings and prevented Naylor from hosting a press conference to announce them. While these recommendations weren't followed, ScienceInsider says they "established Naylor's reputation for pulling no punches."

This new review will encompass the country's three funding agencies as well as programs like the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada Research Chairs, and Genome Canada. The panel will also look at the effect of the policies of the Harper administration, which emphasized industrial and commercial applications of university research, ScienceInsider says.

"We want to be sure that the programs we have are meeting the needs of our scientists," Duncan says.

The panel's report is expected by the end of the year.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.