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Science and the Cliff

The looming fiscal cliff, with its January 1st deadline, could lead to automatic cuts to the US budget, including about $57.5 billion in funding over the next five years for research and development programs, reports Science Progress, a progressive science policy website.

For the first year, an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science says that R&D spending would see a $12.1 billion cut. In addition, AAAS says that under sequestration, the National Institutes of Health would see a $2.4 billion cut for 2013 and the National Science Foundation would lose $456 million in funding that same year. Science Progress notes that under the sequestration, the agencies don't decide themselves which programs to cut.

"These cuts, should they be enacted, will have rippling ramifications for research across the country, in labs and universities in every state," Science Progress adds. It adds that while scientific research is "largely bipartisan issue," other aspects of the US budget are not and that those items need to be worked out to prevent sequestration cuts from occurring.

The Scan

Call to Look Again

More than a dozen researchers penned a letter in Science saying a previous investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 did not give theories equal consideration.

Not Always Trusted

In a new poll, slightly more than half of US adults have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hill reports.

Identified Decades Later

A genetic genealogy approach has identified "Christy Crystal Creek," the New York Times reports.

Science Papers Report on Splicing Enhancer, Point of Care Test for Sexual Transmitted Disease

In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.