Cliff Avoided, But…

While US politicians have come to a deal to prevent the so-called fiscal cliff, that resolution "keeps researchers on tenterhooks" by delaying the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration for two months, to the beginning of March, Nature reports. Such cuts would include an 8 percent reduction in funding for non-defense spending, and could lead to a decrease in the federal research and development budget of $57.5 billion over five years, Nature adds.

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A fire at a Manchester hospital may have destroyed lab equipment and data, the Guardian reports.

Researchers generate a genetic database from skeletal remains from the 1845 Franklin Expedition to the Arctic, Live Science reports.

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In Science this week: human DNA found in sediments from archeological sites lacking bones, and more.