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'The Knock-on Effects'

Not only are government workers staying home due to the US federal government shutdown, but disruptions to US National Institutes of Health funds and to online resources are also hampering small businesses and researchers in the US and abroad, writes Erika Check Hayden at Nature.

"The knock-on effects — undermining confidence in public funding of research and ceding scientific priority to other nations — are hugely deleterious," Ian Holmes, a computational biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, tells her.

For example, Check Hayden reports that David Johnson, a chief executive at San Francisco's GigaGen, has been unable to withdraw money from a small business grant his company received just prior to the shutdown. He tells her that his company was about to put some of its bioinformatics tools online.

In addition, Check Hayden notes that researchers inside and outside the US are affected by the shutdown as resources and tools like PubMed, Blast, and GenBank may not be able to be sustained.

"Those of us doing molecular work are at a standstill," Robinson Fulweiler, an ecologist and biogeochemist at Boston University, tells her.

NIH has furloughed some three quarters of its staff.