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A Big Freeze

At The Scientist Bob Grant looks into whether US President Obama’s three-year spending freeze will affect science funding. "Science advocates are concerned that Obama's funding freeze may spell the steep budgetary drop-off in the next fiscal year that many dread," Grant writes. He notes that Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economist and economic policy adviser, blogged that "the entire theory of the President's proposed freeze is to dial up the stuff that will support job growth and innovation while dialing down the stuff that doesn't." FASEB spokesperson Carrie Wolinetz adds: "We're hopeful that science is enough of a priority in the president's agenda that the scientific agencies we care about will not be included."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.