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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Researchers find that historical factors influence which genes are the most highly studied, the Atlantic reports.

The US National Science Foundation's new sexual harassment policy is to go into effect next month, according to Nature News.

Researchers report using genotyping to tie together illegal ivory shipments and trace them back to a handful of cartels, the New York Times reports.

In Nature this week: genomic ancestry analysis of Sardinians, current noncoding mutations in colorectal cancer, and more.