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Australian Funds for Genomics

Australia's Coalition government has proposed a new federal budget that includes AUS $500 million (US $372.6 million) for genomic research, the Australian Financial Review reports.

The budget, which plans to both deliver tax cuts to many Australians and lead to a surplus of AUS $2.2 billion ($1.65 billion) by 2020, also includes AUS $1.3 billion ($970 million) over a decade to go toward medical technology and pharmaceutical research, according to the Associated Press. Part of that, the Financial Review says, is earmarked for genomics and personalized medicine research.

It adds that the genomics plan will be funded through the Medical Research Future Fund and will help move bench science to the clinic. The first initiative, it says, will be a $20 million trial of pre-conception screening for rare birth disorders. Those conditions, 9News adds, will include cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome. 

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.