TS Picks: March 15, 2016

Profile of a CRISPR pioneer; SciHub, open access, and for-profit publishing; improving ecological models

Mar 15, 2016
Tracy Vence


Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • The Wall Street Journal last week (March 11) profiled Jennifer Doudna, a CRISPR pioneer who said researchers should hold off on editing genes in human embryos—at least for now. “Too much is still unknown about the long-term effects and its consequences,” Doudna told WSJ. “It should not proceed until we have a chance to understand better how the technology operates in those kinds of cells, as well as to provide time for societal consideration.” (See “CRISPR Patent Investigation to Begin,” The Scientist, March 9, 2016; “‘Heroes of CRISPR’ Disputed,” The Scientist, January 19, 2016; “Credit for CRISPR: A Conversation with George Church,” The Scientist, December 29, 2015.)
  • “Should all research papers be free?” asked journalist Kate Murphy in The New York Times last week (March 12). Murphy spoke with Alexandra Elbakyan, founder of the embattled paper-sharing website SciHub, as well as publishing experts and an open-access advocate.
  • “Beyond its usefulness to basic science, understanding large-scale patterns in biodiversity has practical implications.”  —Quanta on dosing ecological models with reality, March 11