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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

Less Than Half

An effort to reproduce key findings from high-profile preclinical cancer studies finds less than half could be replicated, according to the Scientist.

Still Some SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing Holes

The Wall Street Journal reports that viral genomic surveillance has improved in the US, though says there are still gaps.

Avoiding Passing Them On

People with known disease-linked genetic variants are turning to in vitro fertilization so as to not pass those variants to their children, the Washington Post says.

PNAS Papers on Long Cell-Free DNA in Maternal Plasma, Genetic Propensity for Voting

In PNAS this week: long, cell-free DNA of maternal and fetal origins identified in maternal plasma, and more.