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Staff Cut at NIH

Due to budget constraints, the National Institutes of Health is cutting the contractors that run its electronic grant systems by 20 percent, reports ScienceInsider. This will have a "significant impact" on eRA services, writes Sally Rockey, the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, in a letter to extramural staff. "[The impact] will be experienced in eRA's responses to applicant/grantee and staff enquiries; in diagnosing system problems and finding solutions; and in the operational support for both scheduled system outages and unexpected downtimes," she says. Rockey adds that much of the problem is due to budget uncertainty — the 2011 US federal budget has not yet been set, and, indeed, a government shutdown may occur when the stopgap agreement expires at midnight tonight.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.