Below the Line

The US government is letting the country's biomedical infrastructure crumble, writes Michael White at Pacific Standard.

From the late 1990s through the early 2000s, the budget for the US National Institutes of Health about doubled. But since then, White notes that success rates for NIH grants have dropped, as has the number of young investigators heading up labs.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.