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Japanese Research Spending To Be (Re-)Reviewed

ScienceInsider reports that Japanese research institutes — among other government-funded organizations — will be targeted in a review next month by the Democratic Party in an effort to "identify wasteful government spending." Science reports that Yukio Edano, minister of administrative reform, says that "he and others in the party are not discounting the importance of science and technology, but they 'want to ensure that every single yen of tax money is being spent wisely.'" In November, Science reported that a task force recommended that the government streamline spending on various research projects, though the majority of the funding was eventually spared. Though Edano did not identify specific institutes that would face this new investigation, he did refer to organizations like the Japan Science and Technology Agency, which allocates grant funding and fosters technology transfers. Edano also didn't disclose whether the review will affect the fiscal 2010 or 2011 budgets, according to Science.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.