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Not So Super

The US Congressional "supercommittee" — a group of 12 lawmakers charged with making cuts to the US budget — has failed to come to terms on a deal, which has triggered a previously set group of budget cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. This will mean cuts for every department, including cuts to science and research budgets, says New Scientist's Peter Aldhous. "Exactly what that means for science won't become clear until next year, but the required cuts are so large that major projects and research facilities are likely to find themselves on the chopping block," Aldhous says. "Space missions, national laboratories and 'big science' efforts in fields like ecology could all be threatened."

Michael Lubell, head of public affairs with the American Physical Society, tells Aldhous the cuts are expected to be "real bloodletting." Aldhous adds, some in Congress are working to find ways to prevent the automatic cuts from taking place, so they may never materialize.

Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more here.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.