NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded more than 12,000 grants totaling around $5 billion so far under the economic recovery and stimulus package, the White House said today.

President Barack Obama commuted to Bethesda this morning to announce the funding as a milestone, to unveil a $175 million grant for cancer genomics, and to tour the NIH campus.

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Under a proposed spending bill, the US National Institutes of Health would see an additional $3 billion in funding.

Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney sequenced numerous platypus genomes to study their population history.

Robert Redfield, the new pick to lead the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has faced criticism for some of his work.

In Nature this week: sequenced genomes of five additional Neanderthals, and more.