It's Thanksgiving. You're home from grad school and lab where you're fired up about cytoplasmic accumulation and nuclear clearance of TDP-43, a protein implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, when Aunt Carol passes you the candied sweet potatoes and sweetly asks, "Now, dear, what is it that you are doing in your research?" You take a deep breath and begin, "So..." About a minute later, you're explaining how to knock out the TDP-43 analog in fruit flies when a look of horror crosses Aunt Carol's face. "Flies? Your laboratory is full of flies?"
March is Women's History Month and both the Royal Society in the United Kingdom and the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SI Archives) in the United States scheduled Wikipedia "edit-a-thon" sessions to strengthen the online encyclopedia's inadequate coverage of women in science history. The Royal Society's event was last week but for the Smithsonian's there's still time to sign up and learn how to become a Wiki editor or go along in person to the Women In Science session on Tuesday, March 18, at the SI Archives offices in Washington.
Ninety-five American newspapers had weekly science news sections in 1989. In 2005, there were 34 and in 2012, 19. Traditional newspaper science reporting—it isn't coming back. Gone too are TV science reporters as Americans are for the first time as likely to get science and technology news from the Internet as from television. Good riddance, says a new species of online science writers, "content curators," and scientists themselves who are populating a brave new ecosystem of web sites, blogs, e-pubs, and even "bijou" print issues to chronicle mid2d21ST (*mid-second decade of the twenty-first century) science.
An estimated 1,000 scientists lost their National Institutes of Health R-series grants because of the automatic sequester of federal funding last year, according to a new analysis by Jeremy Berg, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Institute for Personalized Medicine and the ASBMB President. Berg used data from the NIH RePORTER for R-series grants, which are the foundation of most labs, to determine the effects of the sequester between FY12 and FY13. His data show that the R-series of grants was disproportionately affected by the sequester, with roughly 1,000 researchers losing funding. Berg is the former Director of NIH's National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).