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Lab Times




Picture of the issue /

Thomson Reuters

introduces new research evaluation tool / UK’s Royal Society

launches print-on-demand service for historical science illustrations / Recently awarded / Europe

sends money and a mobile lab to Ebola-stricken West Africa / Panel supports corrigendum for much-

debated statin paper / Money needed for Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea / Italian

researchers sniff out black truffle’s methylome

_ ___________________________________ 6-15


Observations of The Owl (50):

Helpful Colleagues

_ __________________________________ 17

Research letter from... Antarctica:

The Penguin Pollution Threat

__________________________ 18

Over the Line? (17):

Simple Maths: 48 Years of Hurt

_ ________________________________ 19


40 years European Molecular Biology Laboratory

A look back at EMBL’s beginnings, its turbulent history and future prospects

________________ 20

Cover Story

A worm infection can come with health benefits. Scientists increasingly understand why.

_ ______ 26

Journal Club


How to alter the minds of freely moving flies

_ _________________________ 30

Olomouc/Czech Republic

How plants respond to a salty environment

___________________ 32

Amsterdam/The Netherlands

Why do some bacteria grow faster than their clones?

________ 34

Publication Statistics

Dermatology research in Europe

________________________________________________ 36

What’s behind paper retractions? (24):

Time for a Retraction Penalty?

_ ___________________ 39



Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial with healthy people / Booming biotechnology in Israel

pushes IPOs / AbbVie buys Shire in a €41 billion mega merger

_ ________________________ 40

Fishing for Antibodies in the Southern Alps of Switzerland

Housed in a former warehouse in Bellinzona, Humabs’ team of eleven screens hundreds

of thousands of B-lymphocytes in order to find the one producing the best antibody

_ _________ 42

Dispute over a recent

Lab Times


When science becomes fiction

. A letter to the editor, by Jan Hengstler

_____________________ 45

Reading an article carefully might be helpful

. A response, by Jeremy Garwood

_______________ 47



Tips and tricks of the trade: ‘Any-gene-any-plasmid’ cloning

____________________________ 49

Bench philosophy: Proteogenomics

_ ____________________________________________ 50

Product survey:

Mechanical and physical cell disruption devices

_______________________ 52

New products

_____________________________________________________________ 56

Book review

Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life.

By Enrico Coen

______________ 57


Career strategies for young European scientists (L)

What are your chances of winning a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fellowship?

_ ___________ 58

Job Ads

_ ________________________________________________________________ 63


________________________________________________________________ 64


Paul the Postdoc

_ __________________________________________________________ 06

One fine day in the lab

______________________________________________________ 62


__________________________________________________________________ 66

Laboratory Tales

___________________________________________________________ 67

During the 1960s, two physicists envisaged

a molecular biology version of CERN in Eu-

rope. This year, EMBL celebrates its 40


anniversary. Congratulations! (p. 20)

Having an electrical engineer, John Stowers,

(left) in his group, paid off for Andrew Straw

(right). His team built and tested the world’s

first Fly Mind-Altering Device, FlyMAD (p. 30).

A Swiss immunologist and his group find a

method for isolating antibodies from human

blood, seen as new hope in the fight against

infectious diseases (p. 42).

Proteogenomics brings together a collection

of proteomic and genomic approaches, all

aimed at improving the quality of genome an-

notation (p. 50).

Photo: Eva Pradel

Photo: J. Garwood

Photo: F. Fisch

Photo: Tobias Frygar