The PLoS ONE Blog Pick of the Month winner for May is Iddo Friedberg from Byte Size Biology, for continued excellence in promoting novice scientists.
Last January, PLoS ONE published a paper cataloging the results of the HHMI-sponsored National Genome Research Initiative (NGRI), where college freshman isolated and analyzed 12 new phages as part of their curriculum.
The program is now expanding, and Miami University will join other institutions across the country in bringing the process of discovery into the classroom. As Iddo said:
And I get to teach the bioinformatics bit: annotation and comparative genomics. Woo-hoo! The great thing about this course, is that unlike most lab courses, the students (and faculty) will be setting up experiments intended not only to teach, but also to discover something new. Also, the results of the research are meaningful. Genomics data generated by student participants will be used by other researchers to answer medical, ecological, and evolutionary scientific questions.
To show our support of citizen science, we will send each institution mentioned in the paper (as well as Miami University) a custom PLOS poster as token of thanks.