Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

UK Science Gets Chilly

Talk of significant cuts in the UK's science budget had some researchers in the country worried about a "brain drain" of researchers to other countries. Recently, the government decided to freeze the budget for the next four years at £4.6 billion, a measure which translates to a cut of sorts when inflation is taken into account, says Imran Khan of the Campaign for Science and Engineering. In a column for the New Scientist's The S Word blog, Khan says even with the budget reprieve, UK science "is not out of the woods." Researchers in Germany are getting a 7 percent increase in their budget, and UK researchers are going to have to fight with the government to make sure it reinvests in science once the four-year freeze is over, he adds. Inevitably, there will also be wrangling over research priorities and money earmarked for certain field, Khan says. Even with all the difficulties ahead, the government has sent a signal to scientists and engineers in the UK that research is still a priority.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.