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Looming Austerity

A winner of this year's Nobel Prize in physics and other researchers call in an open letter on European lawmakers to protect European Union research funding from austerity measures, the Nature News Blog reports. The EU has told its member nations to cut domestic spending, and some have responded by saying the EU should then also cut costs. The Nature News Blog adds that even funding for the EU's "flagship seven-year research programme, Horizon 2020, is one of the items on the chopping block."

In the letter, the researchers say that cuts will affect the competitiveness of European research. "Science can help us find answers to many of the pressing problems facing us at this time: new ways to harness energy, new forms of production and products, improved ways to understand how societies function and how we might order them better," the letter says. "Transforming this knowledge into innovative new products, services and industries is the only way to provide Europe with a competitive edge in today's rapidly changing global landscape."

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

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.