Cholera is changing the human genome, according to research published in Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday. The investigators scanned the genomes of individuals living in the Ganges Delta of Bangladesh and West Bengal in India, where cholera is prevalent. ScienceNow and the New York Times report that the researchers found 305 regions of the genome with changes due to cholera, evidence that natural selection made its mark on the genes over the past 5,000 to 30,000 years.
This Fourth of July, the ASCB Post is celebrating our freedom of expression (political not genetic) with a shout out to two of our favorite practitioners of what is admittedly a very small field—lab humor.
Adam Ruben, author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School, wrote about generational gaps in the lab this week for Science Careers with "Silverbacks and Whippersnappers." Ruben reports, "I've found it's fun to dazzle the older scientists by using Microsoft Office in adequate ways. 'He's so fast!' the elders will shout. 'How did he do that?' I'll explain that Ctrl+V is a simple shortcut for 'Paste,' and they really should try it sometime, but I know they won't."
Jorge Cham's "PhD Comics" honors the Fourth for the lucky grad students whose advisors give them the holiday off, but not really.
Today, ASCB introduces for its members a perk that a cell biologist can really use! Through your ASCB membership, you now have exclusive access to the ASCB Science Navigator, a three-in-one, online science intelligence gatherer.
Fundamental knowledge of biology is what drives the pharmaceutical industry, James Sabry, Vice President of Partnering at Genentech and an ASCB Council member, told a Biomedical Research Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday. And yet the kind of primary research that yields new insights into fundamental biological mechanisms is government-funded through agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Sabry said. "We can't get a grant from the NIH at Genentech. The money doesn't come to us directly. What comes to us is basic knowledge. Without that, our industry would come to a grinding halt in the United States."