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It seems no one is happy with the US debt deal — especially the research community. Both scientists and lobbyists say that prospective cuts in government spending may compromise disease research and hamper the careers of young researchers, say Bloomberg's Elizabeth Lopatto and Brian Faler. If Congress doesn't approve $1.5 trillion in cuts by Christmas, automatic cuts will go into effect that will affect NIH, NSF, and the US Department of Energy.

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The US Food and Drug Administration is to announce stricter standards for emergency authorizations of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, reports the Washington Post.

The Associated Press reports Johnson & Johnson is starting a late-stage clinical trial of its candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Bloomberg reports the budget of Operation Warp Speed is actually $18 billion, higher than the number typically cited.

In Genome Research this week: genomic analysis reveals role of super-spreaders in SARS-CoV-2, epigenetic drivers of cancer, and more.