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Bit of a Boost

A bill introduced in the US House of Representatives seeks to boost the National Science Foundation budget by nearly $10 billion over five years, Science reports. It adds that the bulk of the additional funds would go toward a new NSF directorate focused on translating basic research into new technologies.

In particular, the bill proposed by House Science, Space, and Technology committee would increase NSF funding from $8.5 billion to $18.3 billion by 2026, and the budget for a new Science and Engineering Solutions directorate would begin at $1 billion in 2022 and reach $5 billion by 2026, according to Science. It notes that the bill is similar to one proposed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), though Schumer's bill focuses on economic and other threats from China and specific technologies like artificial intelligence.

"To fully realize the potential of science to benefit society, we must fund more research on the questions that matter to the American people," Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), the chair of the House science committee, says in a statement. "Our competitiveness with China and other nations drives much of the national discourse around innovation because our economic and national security depend on our leadership in science and technology. … [But] researchers and students are inspired by finding solutions, whether they be to scientific or societal challenges."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.