At The Tree of Life blog, Jonathan Eisen asks New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and California Congressman Darrell Issa if they're serious about a new bill they've co-sponsored that would limit public access to NIH-funded research. As to why they would do this, Eisen notes that the lawmakers have received donations from the publisher Elsevier, which has come out against an open-access model of scientific publishing.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.