Slam-Dunk Grant Fails to Write Itself (Minneapolis, MN). In spite of widespread projections, R01 proposal GM088686-A1 has, “for reasons that defy all logic”, failed to write itself, according to sources close to the proposal. Moreover, the competitive renewal, which is reputed to strike the perfect balance between mildly risky high-payoff studies and guaranteed publishable units, has yet to commit a single sentence to paper. “How this set of perfectly meshed yet entirely non-interdependent aims could fail to auto-compose onto a hard drive is nearly inconceivable”, stated one of grant’s lead investigators. That the six-point bulleted Significance section, which segues seamlessly into the Innovation component, has so completely fallen short of crafting itself, was also unanticipated. “Admittedly, we thought we might have to help out with entering some Endnote references or maybe take up some slack on the budget section”, stated a co-PI close to the project, “but the response to previous criticisms should have literally fallen out of the sky and onto the page given that every experiment since the initial submission has completely put reviewer’s concerns to rest.” Regardless of the revised proposal’s failure to meet expectations, scientists associated with the grant remain optimistic that the “eight high-impact papers” generated during the previous funding period are more than likely to “submit themselves” to top journals within the next few months.

Genes within long-standing operon calling it quits (X chromosome). At a joint press conference held on the campus of Caltech, genes within the C. elegans lin-15 operon recently announced their decision to split due to “creative differences”. Despite co-existing for at least 50-100 million years, the individual genes known as lin-15a and lin-15b indicated their mutual desire to move on in a prepared statement. “We’ve done our thing together and we don’t think we have anything to prove”, affirmed the genes, which have been sharing regulatory elements prior to the separation of C. elegans and C. briggsae. According to sources close to the locus, having nearly identical names has been a long-standing source of irritation to the tandem genes, which share virtually no identity at the peptide level. “It’s already bad enough to be part of the “lin” group”, said lin-15a, “but having the same number followed by a letter is just total bullshit”. “It’s not like our discoverer was George Foreman or something”, lin-15b added. Despite their intention to separate “a minimum of 5-10 map units apart or even to different chromosomes”, the functionally interconnected genes plan to continue their long-standing collaboration on processes such as vulval induction while freeing their expression domains to pursue other developmental projects. Although details on the custody of 5′ regulatory elements and the 3′ UTR have not yet been disclosed, geneticists familiar with the process are expecting a protracted battle.