US government spending on basic research at universities and colleges was basically flat, and even down a bit in some fields, in fiscal year 2012. That finding, from the National Science Foundation, is not surprising to anyone who has kept up with how the federal budget has been at the center of a multi-year partisan battle over government spending.

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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.

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.

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.