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Budget Surprise

A US House of Representatives panel is recommending that NIH receive a budget increase for fiscal yeat 2012, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. The panel released a draft spending bill last week that would raise NIH's budget by $1 billion to $31.7 billion, a 3.3 percent increase compared with the 2011 budget, Kaiser says. The spending boost matches a request made by President Obama, and reverses a $190 million spending cut approved by the Senate last week. Given the overall atmosphere of deep budget cuts, many are surprised by this news, Kaiser says. However, some of the provisions that go along with this budget increase are a little worrisome, she adds. The bill would require that NIH award at least 9,150 new and competing research project grants, and that 90 percent of the NIH budget could go to extramural activities and 10 percent to intramural activities. The bill leaves out any mention of NIH's plan to create the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to replace the National Center for Research Resources, though the Senate is likely to make changes to the bill to reintroduce a provision for NCATS and the Cures Acceleration Network, which was also left out of the House bill.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.