The New Austerity

The US Senate subcommittee that oversees funding of the National Science Foundation and other research agencies has "voted [on] an appropriations bill that would cut NSF's current budget by 2.4 percent, or $162 million," reports ScienceInsider's Jeffrey Mervis. This, he adds, is ostensibly the "clearest indication yet that 2012 will be a very tough year for scientists seeking funding" from the agency.

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

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