The scientific community is taking action to prevent drastic funding cuts that will be triggered on Jan. 2, 2013, if the US Congress can't agree on a plan to trim $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.

Sequestration would shave $2.4 billion from the National Institutes of Health's 2013 budget and $456 million from the National Science Foundation, according to an analysis from the American Association for the Advancement of Science conducted earlier this year.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.