FDA streamlining, modernizing hiring process | Researchers ID 2 new genes associated with Alzheimer's disease | Canine genetic testing startup receives fresh capital
July 21, 2017
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Women making news in biosciences
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FDA streamlining, modernizing hiring process
Melanie Keller, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research's Office of Management, is leading an effort to improve the FDA's hiring process and more closely line up hiring with the FDA's scientific objectives. The FDA has struggled to meet staffing needs as industry recruits top talent and the products before the agency become more complex, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote in a blog post.
Regulatory Focus (7/17) 
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Women Movers and Shakers
Researchers ID 2 new genes associated with Alzheimer's disease
Investigators led by Rebecca Sims from Cardiff University School of Medicine found that the PLCG2 and ABI3 genes resulted in alterations in proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease and may be excellent targets for potential treatments. The study, in the journal Nature Genetics, also identified a network of other genes and proteins that may be crucial in Alzheimer's development.
The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (7/17),  United Press International (7/17) 
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Canine genetic testing startup receives fresh capital
Canine genetic testing startup receives fresh capital
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki was among the investors putting $4.5 million into canine genetic testing startup Embark Veterinary, which tests for disease-linked markers and shares anonymized data with researchers. "This new funding lets us expand our research to end preventable disease in dogs and expand partnership talks with companies that can help us translate that research into advances for human health," said co-founder Ryan Boyko.
CNNMoney (7/18) 
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Vaccines might be key to fighting drug-resistant infections
GlaxoSmithKline Vice President Helen Steel said during a recent conference that 200 programs by drugmakers to develop new antibiotics were unsuccessful, and some drugmakers and funders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are prioritizing vaccine development to combat antimicrobial-resistant infections. Studies have shown vaccines tend to reduce the use of antibiotics, and scientists say their use rarely leads to resistant microbes.
Nature (free content) (7/19) 
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Does DNA explain the strength of the canine-human bond?
Does DNA explain the strength of the canine-human bond?
(Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)
Animal behaviorist Monique Udell and geneticist Bridgett vonHoldt identified genes linked to dogs' hypersociability by studying people with Williams-Beuren syndrome. The researchers reported in Science Advances that the most social dogs had high variation in a gene that codes for the GIF21 protein, and the same effect was seen in mice, while minimal disruption in the genetic region was associated with aloof behavior, more characteristic of wolves.
Science (free content) (7/19) 
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Women's Health
Small risk of birth defects linked to certain antibiotics
Small risk of birth defects linked to certain antibiotics
(Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Taking clindamycin, doxycycline, quinolones, macrolides and phenoxymethylpenicillin during the first trimester of pregnancy might increase the risk of major congenital and organ-specific malformations in infants; but the association was not seen with amoxicillin, cephalosporins or nitrofurantoin, researchers reported in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The researchers analyzed data on all pregnancies covered by Quebec Public Prescription Drug Insurance from 1998 to 2008, which involved about 140,000 infants, and found that the absolute risk associated with antibiotics was small but suggested that clinicians prescribe the safest antibiotics possible.
MedPage Today (free registration) (7/19) 
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Viewpoints and Data Points
NVCA seeks suggestions for ending sexual harassment in venture capital
The National Venture Capital Association is ready to lead in rooting out sexual harassment in the venture capital industry and wants all interested parties to submit their recommendations, writes Bobby Franklin, NVCA's president and CEO. In the coming weeks, NVCA will make an announcement addressing the lack of diversity in the industry and the actions that should be taken to make sure the industry provides safe and professional workplaces.
NVCA Blog (7/17) 
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Breathe like a SEAL to relieve stress
Managing stress is crucial to competently address and stay productive amid professional challenges. A simple breathing exercise practiced by Navy SEALs leverages physiology to calm the mind, gain a stronger sense of control and better regulate emotions.
Inc. online (7/19) 
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How to leave a positive impression when networking
Effective networking depends partly on projecting a likable persona in the brief time available. Harvey Deutschendorf offers five pointers, beginning with displaying genuine enthusiasm for the meeting.
Fast Company online (7/18) 
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Tomorrow's Leaders
Girls explore careers in STEM at camp
West Virginia University Institute of Technology's STEM Summer Academy for Girls is working to prepare female students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to projects and field trips, students will meet women currently working in STEM fields.
The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.) (7/12) 
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Women In Bio News
WIB encourages women to get involved and support one another
WIB encourages women to get involved and support one another
Women In Bio is looking for volunteers to help facilitate our mission. We are an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences. Women In Bio is almost entirely run by volunteers, from the President and Board to the Chapter chairs and committees. Volunteering with WIB serves as a great way to meet new people, give back, get involved with your local community, and increase your leadership skills. Working as a team, volunteers come together to drive the events and mentoring programs of WIB. If you are interested in volunteering your time, contact info@womeninbio.org. Get involved at your local chapter now!
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