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NEW YORK — Congress on Monday overwhelming approved a spending package for fiscal 2021 that includes a roughly 3 percent increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health.

The $1.4 trillion appropriations package would boost the NIH's budget by $1.25 billion to approximately $42.9 billion. Of that total, $6.36 billion would go to the National Cancer Institute, $3.66 billion to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and $615.8 million to the National Human Genome Research Institute.

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President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press says.

Nature News writes that scientists are trying to figure out how to name the new strains of SARS-CoV-2 that are emerging.

The New York Times reports that researchers are studying identical twins who had COVID-19 to understand the influence of genetics on disease severity.

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