Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

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.

"The bill isn't ideal," Eleanor Dehoney, the vice president of public policy at the science-advocacy organization Research!America, tells Nature. "But it does give advocates more time to convince policy-makers that cutting the US investment in R&D is counterproductive."

The White House has said that it wants to protect research, ScienceInsider adds, noting that President Barack Obama said, upon the passage of this new legislation, that "we can't keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in a 21st century economy."

Like before, if Congress can come up with other ways to save the amount of money sequestration would cut, it can be avoided, though Nature notes that this new deadline will come up at nearly the same time as when Congress has to work on the overall federal budget.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.