eNewsletter | June 5th, 2017.

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RARE DISEASE Research Grants – eligibility for funding up to $1,000,000

New Award Seeks to Accelerate the Development of Novel Therapies for Rare Diseases. Harrington Discovery Institute announces the call for proposals for the 2018 Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Award. Harrington Discovery Institute announces the call for proposals for the 2018 Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Award.

The Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Award was created to advance breakthrough research into cures for rare diseases. The program is sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and overseen by Harrington Discovery Institute.

Letters of Intent are now being accepted through midnight on July 19, 2017.

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SNPs in cancer research

The great importance of small differences

By Jeya Chelliah B.Vsc Ph.D

Most genomes in human beings are alike. As a result, a somewhat small number of genetic differences has produced the many variations within the human species in characteristics such as skin color, weight and height. Genes themselves control only part of these characteristics. The intricate relationship between genes and the environment, and between multiple genes, increases the difficulty of understanding and quantifying the human phenotypic variation. Genome analysis and sequencing reveals that only one out of thousands of nucleotides differ in the genomes of two individuals. .

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Peer review is a thankless job. One firm wants to change that

Publons wants scientists to be rewarded for assessing others’ work.

Peer review underpins the entire academic enterprise. It is the main method of quality control employed by journals. By offering drafts of a paper to anonymous experts, poor arguments or dodgy science can be scrubbed up or weeded out..

That is the theory. In reality, things are murkier. Anonymity makes peer review unglamorous, thankless work. That matters, for these days scientists are under relentless pressure from universities and funding bodies to publish a steady stream of papers. Anything that distracts from that goal—including reviewing the research of others—could mean forfeiting grants or career advancement. Perhaps unsurprisingly, studies suggest many reviewers do a poor job of spotting shortcomings in the papers they are critiquing.

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A drug used to treat sleeping sickness may also help with autism

Nobody is sure what causes autism. One theory points the finger at something called the “cellular danger response”. This involves compounds known as purines, which command cells to halt their usual activities and brace for an imminent viral attack. That response is normal and, provided it switches off when the danger has passed, beneficial. But some researchers believe that the mechanism can end up switched on permanently. This, they think, can encourage the development of autism..

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