Monthly Archives: May 2017

Sea urchin mitochondrial genome evolution

A lab publication is out (link)!

Áki J. Láruson generated the mitochondrial genome of Tripneustes gratilla and compared it to all other existing sea urchin genomes. He found that the Toxopneustidae are a sister family to the Strongylocentrotidae splitting from each other around a time of major climate change (link) and that patterns of DNA substitutions are generally consistent with neutrality for the sea urchin mitochodria. Stay tuned for more Tripneustes gratilla genomics publications!

NIH capping fund distributions to address problems in science in the US

In an article recently posted at NIH a plan to limit individual grant support has been announced.

Implementing Limits on Grant Support to Strengthen the Biomedical Research Workforce

NIH is facing the fact that (1) there is not enough grant funding to go around, (2) the funding is being concentrated into fewer labs (3) at fewer institutions, and as a consequence (4) science is loosing young researchers because the field appears to have no future for people starting out. Without a next generation, science in the US is approach a crash in its workforce. In response NIH plans to spread out research funding among more researchers by placing a cap on individual funds received.

"And we will monitor, on a trans-agency basis, investigators’ Grant Support Index, with the idea that over time and in close consultation with the extramural research community, we will phase in a resetting of expectation for total support provided to any one investigator. We plan to implement a Grant Support Index cap of 21 points, essentially the equivalent of 3 single-PI R01 grants. Over the next few weeks to months, we will meet with NIH Advisory Councils and other stakeholder groups to explore how best to phase in and implement this cap – so that formal assessment of grant support can be used to best inform, on a trans-NIH basis, our funding decisions." link

Why stop at three? I would be overjoyed with just one or two R01 grants to allow me to do my job.