At this writing, the Bush administration has made only limited progress in filling the most important scientific positions in the federal government: Director of the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration commissioner, and head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This week Bush nominated John Marburger, the director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, to head the OSTP, but many observers have pointed to the delay as an example of the President's indifference to science matters.

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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.