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In commentary appearing in this week's Science, US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins discusses the "severe budget constraints" his agency is set to face. "Americans need to know that today's basic research is the engine that powers tomorrow's therapeutic discoveries," Collins says. "They need to know that basic research is the type of science that the private sector, which requires rapid returns on investment, cannot afford to fund."

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a small group of breakthrough COVID-19 cases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense is to use genetic genealogy approaches to identify the remains of unknown soldiers.

Vox and Nature discuss the importance of preparing for the next pandemic.

In Nature this week: comparison of five circulating tumor DNA assays, resequencing analysis of lettuce gives insight into its domestication, and more.