NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health will allow the average award value of competing grants for fiscal 2008 to increase by three percent for fiscal 2009, in line with the three percent increase the institutes received under this year's budget appropriation from Congress, NIH said this week.

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.