We’re taking time over the following weeks to get to know the members of the GSA’s Early Career Scientist Committees. Join us every week to learn more about our early career scientist advocates. Alexandra Erwin Co-Chair, Early Career Scientist Steering Committee University of Kansas Research Interest: Broadly, my research interests are in the fields of genetics and epigenetics. Epigenetics factors influence the expression of genes, and some can be transmitted across generations. My current project looks at how these epigenetic factors change with age, since not all cells are affected by aging in the same way. For example, the cells...


We’re taking time over the following weeks to get to know the members of the GSA’s Early Career Scientist Committees. Join us every week to learn more about our early career scientist advocates. Alessandro Bailetti Co-Chair, Early Career Scientist Steering Committee Liaison to the Board of Directors New York University School of Medicine Research Interest: My research focuses on blood development and uses Drosophila as a model organism to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying human leukemia. Drosophila has the same cell signaling pathways and molecular processes found in humans; however, it lacks the genetic redundancies present in vertebrate systems,...


Common water fleas (Daphnia pulex) visualized by means of confocal laser scanning microscopy. Micrographs: Jan Michels, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany. See Maruki and Lynch (pp. 1393) and Ye et al. 2017 (pp. 1405) in this issue and Ackerman et al. 2017 (pp. 105) and Lynch et al. 2017 (pp. 315) in the GENETICS May issue for related work.

Illuminating the cover of the May issue of G3 is a lake-dwelling filter feeder no more than a couple millimeters long. This microcrustacean—Daphnia pulex, also known as the water flea—is an important model organism, especially in ecological genetics. But despite Daphnia’s status as a model organism, no one had examined its population genomics until now. Four papers in GENETICS and G3 by Michael Lynch’s group delve into Daphnia’s population genomics. Although the Daphnia genome had been sequenced, Ye et al. provide a new reference genome assembly that bolsters the field and enhances the group’s three other papers. The new assembly...


Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Control Room 2. Image credit: by Michael Kötter via Flickr.

In the ruins of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant—an area deemed unsafe for humans for the next 20,000 years after a catastrophic failure—life thrives. Fungi that reside there, along with other organisms that can survive large radiation doses, must have strategies to cope with the DNA-damaging effects of living at a meltdown site. In the April issue of GENETICS, Repar et al. report that radiation-resistant prokaryotes tend to have higher rates of genome rearrangements—a sign of improperly repaired double-strand breaks in DNA—than related species do, meaning that even these hardy organisms can’t fully prevent or fix radiation-induced DNA damage. The...


Check out the May issue of GENETICS by looking at the highlights or the full table of contents! ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS Bivariate analysis of age-related macular degeneration progression using genetic risk scores, pp. 119-133 Ying Ding, Yi Liu, Qi Yan, Lars G. Fritsche, Richard J. Cook, Traci Clemons, Rinki Ratnapriya, Michael L. Klein, Gonçalo R. Abecasis, Anand Swaroop, Emily Y. Chew, Daniel E. Weeks, and Wei Chen Ding et al. used data from large clinical trials to evaluate the effects of known age-related macular generation (AMD) risk variants on disease progression. They used these variants to develop a genetic risk score (GRS) for use...