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House Passes SBIR Renewal Bill on to Senate

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US House of Representatives have passed a bill that will extend the Small Business Innovation Research program that is scheduled to end this September as well as the Science and Technology Transfer Research program.
The House agreed to pass the Science and Technology Innovation Act of 2008 last week on a vote of 368 to 43, after it was reviewed and advanced in the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation and the House Committee on Small Business.
The bill has now been read in the US Senate and has been referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. This bill would increase funding levels for Phase I awards from $100,000 to $300,000 and Phase II awards from $750,000 to $2.2 million.
The bill also would increase the flexibility of SBIR award policy by allowing applicants to apply directly for Phase II funding, and it would expand the requirements for databases of recipients, as well as interoperability and accessibility between databases.
"SBIR and STTR are good economic stimulus programs that support research and innovation among our country’s leading job creators – small businesses," said the House Science and Technology Committee’s chairman, Bart Gordon (D – Tenn.), in a statement.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.