NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Senate yesterday passed on to the White House an appropriations bill that will fund much of the Federal Government for the remainder of fiscal 2009 that includes the expected funding increases for several scientific research agencies.

Despite intense argument in the Senate about the thousands of earmarks in the bill, the $410 billion omnibus bill passed without amendments by a vote of 62 to 35.

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

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

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

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