Science and the Stimulus Effect

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As the Dow plummeted toward 8,000 in 2008 and banks couldn't get bailed out fast enough, probably the last thing on everyone's mind was the state of biomedical — particularly genomic — research in the United States. Yet when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law in 2009 to prevent the US economy from bottoming out, investment in basic research figured prominently. Of the $787 billion that ARRA allocated, $18.3 billion was set aside for basic research, and the White House estimates that more than $1 billion of those research dollars are being spent on genomics.

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The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Kite Pharmaceuticals' CAR T-cell therapy for large B-cell lymphomas, the New York Times reports.

Kaiser Health News reports that gene therapies could cost more than a million dollars.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute researchers have received a grant to combine biology and computer science for high school students.

In Nature this week: variants associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, review of key CRISPR enzymes, and more.