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Belt-Tightening Time?

Republicans in the US House of Representatives announced a new budget proposal that cuts the federal budget, including federal science funding, by $74 billion, reports Nature's The Great Beyond blog. House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) then specific how much each subcommittee would have to cut from its budget; the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee would have to cut 4 percent of its budget. "We are going go line by line to weed out and eliminate unnecessary, wasteful, or excess spending — and produce legislation that will represent the largest series of spending reductions in the history of Congress," says Paul Ryan (R-WI), the House budget committee chair, in a statement.

However, Barry Toiv, the spokesperson for the Association of American Universities, tells the Chronicle for Higher Education that "these allocations pose a serious threat to science and higher education."

In the State of the Union and other speeches, President Barack Obama has called for investment into scientific research. This new budget proposal makes "clear the huge challenge confronting President Obama and his pledge to largely spare scientific research from the overall need for deep budget reductions," the Chronicle notes.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.