ASHG 2009: Your Individual Development Plan: Two Modest Proposals

Posted on behalf of Chris Gunter In 2006 I blogged from ASHG’s career development session and hate to say that not much has changed. Back then I said “The session was kicked off by Bill Lindstaedt, Director of the UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development. He delivered the depressing news first: the median age of first tenure-track positions is 38; the median age of receiving a first NIH research grant R01 is 42; and only 4% of such grants go to first-time investigators.”  … Read more

ASHG 2009: Personal genomics fears overblown?

One of the major themes of this meeting is personalized medicine – the promise that some day, doctors will be able to tailor treatments for all of us based on our genetic makeup. Scientists and researchers are excited about the future prospects of personalized medicine, but there are also huge questions about how useful it will really be. Social scientists are wondering: can patients can handle genetic information? Will they overreact upon learning they have some small increase in risk for a disease? Or will the information wash over them like the myriad public service announcements exhorting us to eat right and get more exercise – messages that, apparently, most of us have learned to ignore?  Read more

AAAS: Bowser blazes the trail

AAAS: Bowser blazes the trail

Whenever I see Elaine Ostrander talk about dogs, I feel sorry for human geneticists. Ostrander, a researcher at the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute on Bethesda, Maryland, studies the hundreds of dog breeds that exist in the world. And because human breeders have simplified dog genetics enormously, it’s a lot easier to answer questions about the genetic basis of all kinds of traits in dogs than it is in humans.  Read more

AAAS: Climate issue getting “more complicated”

AAAS: Climate issue getting "more complicated"

A leader of the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change told the meeting today that the world’s climate is likely to change much faster than predicted, leaving the world with two choices: start cutting carbon emissions earlier, or make the cuts deeper.  Read more

AAAS: The greatest mystery of all….

AAAS: The greatest mystery of all....

Since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, you know what I’m talking about. That’s right, it’s love. Valentine’s Day always happens some time during this conference, to the eternal consternation (or relief?) of conference-goers forced to spend the holiday apart from their adored ones. But it usually means we get treated to some “science of romance” stories, and this year is no exception, as the conference organizers thoughtfully organized a press conference on the science of kissing.  Read more

AAAS: Risk assessment for climate reporters

Global warming stories are a mainstream media mainstay now, and the Obama-for-Bush swap in Washington means the climate change beat is heating up. But the media world is going through radical changes of its own. With science and environment reporters often the first cut from dying news organizations, what’s in store for climate change coverage?  Read more