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'Now is the Time'

John Holdren, director of the Obama administration's Office of Science and Technology Policy, recently testified in front of Congress on the science budget, says The Intersection's Chris Mooney. Holdren told Congress that while the Obama administration is committed to reducing the budget and the deficit, it is also dedicated to "prim[ing] the pump of discovery and innovation" by proposing increased investments in research and STEM education. "America's strength, prosperity, and global leadership depend directly on the investments we're willing to make in R&D, in STEM education, and in infrastructure," Holdren told Congress. This is exactly the right attitude to take, Mooney says. When times are tough economically, it's important to increase investment in research and innovation, not cut it, he says, adding, "In hard times, you don't give up on vision. You knuckle down, sure, but you also look ahead."

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.