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Not Right Now

The US National Science Foundation has halted an initiative that enables fellows from its graduate fellowship program to study abroad, ScienceInsider reports.

Through the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) program, students funded by NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship program could apply for an additional $5,000 to study abroad, ScienceInsider adds. However, it reports that FastLane, the online system through which students apply, isn't accepting GROW applications and that the agency isn't saying why applications are not being accepted or when it might resume.

That, ScienceInsider says, has disappointed students who'd been hoping for funding like Claire Fox, a PhD student at Cornell University, who wanted to go to India to study the early evolution of flatfishes. "I was counting on this funding to support the last chapter of my dissertation," Fox tells ScienceInsider.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.