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A Pleasant Surprise

US legislators have given President Barack Obama a pleasant dilemma to deal with, says ScienceInsider's Jeffrey Mervis. Some preliminary 2013 budget plans are calling for more money to some science programs than the president had requested, leaving the White House to decide whether the proposals are fiscally feasible. In particular, the House Appropriations Committee recently agreed to increase funding to the Department of Energy for fusion research, as well as to NASA, beyond what the president had already requested, Mervis says. Further, the Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to give the National Science Foundation a $299 million increase over its current budget, though under the condition that NSF ease back on its new inter-agency programs and focus more on its core initiatives, Mervis adds.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.