Editorials

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  • The global expansion of Western universities is not without challenges but can provide manifold opportunities, particularly in the Middle East.

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  • We encourage our readers to consider whether principles of measurement science could have a role to play in their own disciplines.

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  • The Human Cell Atlas, driven by a collaborative spirit and rapid advances in single-cell methods, is poised to advance both biological understanding and technical development.

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  • There was insufficient data to support the claim of unexpected off-target effects due to CRISPR in a paper published in Nature Methods. More work is needed to determine whether such events occur in vivo.

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  • Epigenome reference data are continually being enriched—researchers should explore them, even if raw data access still presents some hurdles.

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  • Referees provide an invaluable service in advancing science. We offer some food for thought about how to effectively peer review methods papers.

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  • The ability to prod stem cells into three-dimensional tissue models makes for a powerful way to study human biology. But these exciting tools are still works in progress.

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  • Writing a clear, accurate and convincing scientific paper is both an art and a skill. It is one well worth mastering.

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  • The biological literature is vast and growing; tools to help researchers negotiate it are much needed. A new platform, SourceData, aims to help researchers hone in on the core of the research effort: the data.

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  • Researchers should minimize arbitrary choices in experimental design. Some tools are available to help.

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  • The life sciences are dominated by a handful of model organisms, but unusual creatures have their place in biological research as well.

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  • Images are among the richest data types that biologists collect, yet most biological images are not available for reanalysis or reuse. This may be changing.

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  • The growing advantages of red to near-infrared fluorescent probes should move them beyond being a 'second color' in biological imaging.

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  • With the ever-expanding use of CRISPR technology, the development of standards to quantitatively benchmark on- and off-target activity needs to keep pace.

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  • The appetite for political engagement among scientists across the United States has increased since the 2016 election. If well channeled and sustained, this would be a positive development that could last beyond the current administration's tenure.

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  • Careful construction of reference lists is the responsibility of every scientist.

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  • Uncertainty reigns in many domains as the Trump administration takes power. Science is no exception. Federal support for biological research must continue. And scientists must not be silenced by political pressure.

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  • Meta-analysis is common in clinical research, less so in basic biology, but it is also proving useful in some basic research contexts. It should help improve research reproducibility.

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