Tough Times

As part of its austerity budget, Spain may cut funding for research and development by a quarter, reports the Nature News Blog. The draft budget containing the cut, which would bring R&D funding back to 2005 levels, was presented to the Spanish parliament last week. "The decrease in science investment is worse than expected," says Carlos Andradas, president of the Confederation of Spanish Scientific Societies.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.