Editor's Note

Season’s greetings

Comfort Dorn
Dec. 21, 2023

In my family, birthdays fall in clumps, and one of those clumps falls in early December. My son was born on Dec. 4 and my niece on Dec. 5. Six years ago, my granddaughter was born in the Netherlands. Because of the time difference, she arrived on Dec. 5 there, but it was still Dec. 4 here in the U.S. This has led to fierce debate about who gets to claim her as a birthday twin.

Western Christian countries also celebrate Dec. 5 as St. Nicholas Day. We pretty much ignore this holiday in the U.S., but as Sinterklaasdag it’s a big deal in the Netherlands so, between one thing and another, my family has a head start in the business of December gift giving.

I struggle with gifts. I like to surprise people, but I want to be sure to give them something they’ll like. This is pretty easy with small children but becomes more of a challenge as everyone ages.

In the back of my mind, I always think of the December issue of ASBMB Today as our holiday gift to you, our wonderful members. And I want to give you something you’ll like — and maybe even a little surprise.

In this month's print issue, we have our annual gift guide, which is always fun to research and put together. We had a few discussions this year about Laboratory Barbie — she didn’t make it into print, but you can see her on the website. Personally, I really love the DNA pencil holder.

We also have a profile of Robert Haltiwanger, a Journal of Biological Chemistry associate editor who grew up, scientifically speaking, in the ASBMB family. And a really useful explainer of open science by one of our terrific contributing writers, Ankita Arora.

Of course, if you know me, you know my favorite part of ASBMB Today is the personal essays. This month, we have testimonials from folks who did one-on-one mentoring at Discover BMB, gathered by Paul A. Craig, and a heartwarming argument for taking your students to meetings, from Vahe Bandarian.

And because I like to save the best for last, we round out with Danielle Guarracino’s essay, “The look of love.” I won’t say any more about it here.

Enjoy — I hope you're having a festive month.

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Comfort Dorn

Comfort Dorn is the managing editor of ASBMB Today.

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