eNewsletter | April 17th, 2017.

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With this new system, scientists never have to write a grant application again.

Almost every scientist agrees: Applying for research funding is a drag. Writing a good proposal can take months, and the chances of getting funded are often slim. Funding agencies, meanwhile, spend more and more time and money reviewing growing stacks of applications. That’s why two researchers are proposing a radically different system that would do away with applications and reviews; instead scientists would just give each other money. “Self-organized fund allocation” (SOFA), as it’s called, was developed by computer scientist Johan Bollen at Indiana University in Bloomington. When he first published about the idea in 2014, many people were skeptical. But interest appears to be growing, and thanks to the work of an enthusiastic advocate, ecologist Marten Scheffer of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the Dutch parliament adopted a motion last year asking the country’s main funding agency, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), to set up a SOFA pilot project.

Read on...


Mapping the Secret Lives of Human Cells.

Scientists hope mapping the secret lives of human cells will speed up drug discovery and advance basic research. Allen Institute team harnessed a workhorse of molecular biology, fluorescent proteins, to label and monitor organelles in human stem cells. For instance, they turned mitochondria—the powerhouses of cells—white. They scanned these cells thousands of times to get a comprehensive picture of how cells behave.

The Allen Cell Explorer is a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website combines large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, gene edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools.

A portal to the human cell






Why everything is hackable

Computer security is broken from top to bottom. In February of that year cyber-crooks stole $81m directly from the central bank of Bangladesh—and would have got away with more were it not for a crucial typo. In August America’s National Security Agency (NSA) saw its own hacking tools leaked all over the internet by a group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers. (The CIA suffered a similar indignity this March.).

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2018 HFSP Nakasone Award

Nominations are invited for the 2018 HFSP Nakasone Award. Nominations must be submitted using the simple nomination form, which can be downloaded HERE. Instructions are included in the form.

The deadline for nominations is April 28th 2017.

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