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Through the System

Science funding bills for fiscal year 2014 are wending their way through Congress, but the funding levels are typically lower in the House of Representative versions of the bills than in the Senate ones, the American Association for the Advancement of Science notes. For example, it says that there is a $400 million difference in funding for the National Science Foundation between the Senate and House versions of the Commerce, Justice, and Science bill. The Obama administration has threatened to veto sequester-level budgets, AAAS adds.

The American Association for Cancer Research argues that cuts to the US National Institutes of Health budget will exacerbate cancer health disparities. Margaret Foti, the CEO of AACR, says that to ensure health equity for cancer patients, "it is important that the administration and Congress provide sustained funding increases to the federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute."

The Senate appropriations committee recently approved the bill that covers NIH funding at nearly what the Obama administration requested, according to AAAS. The House has yet to approve its version.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.