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Not So Successful

NIH grant success rates have dropped to an "all-time low" in 2011, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. An early estimate from the NIH Office of Extramural Research puts the success rate at 17.4 percent for the 2011 fiscal year, which ended September 30, Kaiser says. Sally Rockey, the head of the OER, confirmed the number, but tells Kaiser that it might go up a bit after her staff finishes analyzing all the data. The success rates peaked at 32 percent when the NIH budget was doubled from 1999 to 2003. This is the first time it has dipped below 20 percent, Kaiser says, and adds that this "historic low" reflects the 1 percent budget cut NIH received in 2011, which was only the agency's second reduction since 1970.

The Scan

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

Embryos produced with spindle transfer-based mitochondrial replacement had delayed demethylation, but typical aneuploidy and transcriptome features in a PLOS Biology study.

Cancer Patients Report Quality of Life Benefits for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy was linked in JAMA Network Open to enhanced quality of life compared to other treatment types in cancer patients.

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.