This post is part of the Early Career Scientist Policy Subcommittee’s series on science policy fellowships. Research!America sponsors a 3–6-month science policy fellowship for those with a PhD or other terminal degree. The Research!America alliance is made up of over 400 science organizations: from research institutions like Johns Hopkins to scientific societies like GSA to drug development companies like Merck & Co, Inc. Based in Crystal City, Va, this fellowship focuses on biomedical and health services research, while giving fellows the opportunity to monitor policy issues, partake in self-directed projects related to science policy, and gain first-hand experience in policy-making...


Executive Director and Scientific Advisor Kevin Lee works for several private foundations, bridging funding gaps by building networks of scientists, clinicians, and patients. In the Decoding Life series, we talk to geneticists with diverse career paths, tracing the many directions possible after research training. This series is brought to you by the GSA Early Career Scientist Career Development Subcommittee. As the Executive Director for the Lawrence Ellison Foundation, Senior Scientific Advisor for the JPB and Glenn Foundations, and Chief Scientific Officer for the Grace Science Foundation, Kevin Lee works at the interface of supporting biomedical research, coordinating funding, and advising strategic direction for...


Mitochondria on the mind

September 14, 2018

Mitochondria cell-autonomously regulate the secretion of neuropeptides in C. elegans. Neurons are hard-working cells that need a lot of energy to do their jobs, so it’s no surprise that they are highly dependent on their mitochondria to function properly. Yet these organelles do much more for cells than simply produce energy. In GENETICS, Zhao et al. report on how mitochondria are directly involved in regulating the secretion of neuropeptides. In a previous paper, the authors found that disruption of the gene ric-7 caused decreased neuropeptide secretion and locomotion defects in C. elegans—but the mechanism underlying these phenotypes was unclear because...


Holes in the plasma membrane trigger the activation of the Torso receptor tyrosine kinase. As a general rule, cells don’t do well when holes are poked in their plasma membranes. That’s why many immune cells use enzymes like perforin to puncture the membranes of pathogenic cells, dysregulating and often killing them. However, a new report in GENETICS by Mineo et al. suggests that creating holes in the plasma membrane might be a normal and necessary process during development. The authors were interested in whether membrane hole-punching could play a role in activation of a receptor tyrosine kinase known as Torso....


Biology students who participated in a one-on-one homework activity with a classmate showed increased learning gains. The huge sizes of many undergraduate science courses make it rare for a student to get valuable one-on-one interaction with a professor. Teaching assistants and student tutors can help with this problem, but an expert may not actually be required to help students attain deeper levels of understanding—simply engaging with the material with another person might be enough. In CBE-Life Sciences Education, Bailey et al. asked if a simple peer-tutoring homework assignment could help students in a general biology course learn the content. The...