NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Senate and House of Representatives over the last two days passed a budget plan to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year that includes a $71 million increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health.

The budget leaves in place the sequestration plan, however, which cuts around $1.5 billion from NIH funding.

By passing the continuing resolution for FY 2013, which ends Sept. 30, Congress managed to allay concerns that the federal government might shut down on March 27, when the CR resolution was set to expire.

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In PNAS this week: human cytomegalovirus diversity, patterns of homologous recombination in E. coli, and more.

US lawmakers are considering eliminating the medical devices tax that is part of the Affordable Care Act.

Two research teams in China home in on a gene that gives rice a long, slender shape.

Marcia McNutt, the editor-in-chief of Science, has been nominated to become president of the US National Academy of Sciences.