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Involuntary Labmates

Many researchers in the UK will be forced to share lab space and basic equipment as the government there cuts funding for research, reports the Guardian's Ian Sample. Senior academics have said hard cuts to hardware and facilities budgets would "transform research in the UK," with some universities and centers hoarding equipment, leaving other researchers forced to scrounge for access to facilities and instruments, Sample says. UK Science Minister David Willetts recently said that the government would no longer fund four projects that have been highlighted as priorities by research councils, including a national supercomputing service to aid in drug development, for example. The Medical Research Council has asked scientists to be generous in sharing their equipment, Sample says. Researchers can now apply to research councils for only half the cost of lab equipment valued between £10,000 and £121,588, and in turn must acquire the rest of the funds they need from other sources, he adds. Many universities say their equipment is already being used to capacity by their own researchers, and that having to accommodate other projects will put pressure on researchers and delay their work, Sample adds.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.