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Risky Business

Science Insider reports that a new House of Representatives bill aims to increase the amount of funding from the National Science Foundation budget that is allocated for higher-risk project proposals. According to the bill, "the Director [of NSF] shall establish a policy that requires the Foundation to use at least five percent of its research budget to fund basic, high-risk, high-reward research proposals." Science reports that the key issue at hand will be "striking the right balance between the institutional conservatism of NSF reviewers and program managers and the desire of policymakers to fund the next big thing." The NSF bill was examined yesterday by the research subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee, according to Science.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.