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Billion-Pound Sticking Point

The UK and the European Union have come to an impasse in their negotiation of how the UK might remain involved in the Horizon Europe research program after Brexit, the Guardian reports.

According to the Guardian, the EU has said the UK could remain in the research program if it contributed £15.2 billion ($19.8 billion) to the program's seven-year budget. If the UK were to receive more in grants than it put into the pot, it would then have to make up the difference, the Guardian adds. Under the Horizon 2020 program, the UK received more in grants than it contributed.

But this price tag has raised concerns. Vivienne Stern, the director of Universities UK International, notes that the UK currently received 12.7 percent of funding, but to receive £15.2 billion back, it would have to receive 16 percent of the program funding, suggesting that this could lead to a gap of £3 billion over the course of the program, the Guardian reports. 

It adds that researchers are worried this will lead Prime Minister Boris Johnson to leave the program. In a letter, a number of UK researchers say this would be a mistake, Politico Europe adds. "A decision against UK participation in Horizon Europe would have fundamental and long-term consequences," they write, according to Politico Europe. "It would fracture European research collaboration."

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.