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Taxes and Research

The new US tax bill will affect the country's ability to invest in science and research, writes Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) at Scientific American.

President Donald Trump signed the tax bill into law last week, and as the New York Times reports, it includes changes to the standard deduction and child tax credits, among other provisions.

According to Perlmutter, who is on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the bill is estimated to cost $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. That, he says will be money added to the national debt, rather than invested in infrastructure and scientific research. He argues that $1.5 trillion could fund seven there-and-back trips to Mars or fund the National Renewable Energy Lab in his district for 3,275 years.

"A successful country must invest early and often in scientific research," Perlmutter writes at Scientific American. "[W]e are hamstringing our ability to invest in the programs, researchers, and ideas to keep our country innovative and competitive in the future."

The Scan

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.

Australian Survey Points to Public Support for Genetic Risk Disclosure in Relatives of At-Risk Individuals

A survey in the European Journal of Human Genetics suggests most adult Australians are in favor of finding out if a relative tests positive for a medically actionable genetic variant.

Study Links Evolution of Stony Coral Skeleton to Bicarbonate Transporter Gene

A PNAS paper focuses on a skeleton-related bicarbonate transporter gene introduced to stony coral ancestors by tandem duplication.

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.