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Toward a Budget

Lawmakers in the US are working to come up with a budget agreement ahead of tonight's deadline. The New York Times reports that Senate leaders have come to agreement that would fund the government through September 2019 and avoid another government shutdown.

This bipartisan agreement — which still needs to be voted on — would increase the National Institutes of Health's budget by $2 billion, Stat News reports. This, it notes, is in contrast to the $6 billion budget decrease that the Trump Administration requested for the agency last spring and it is more in line with the request Congress made in the fall. ScienceInsider notes that this increase would be in addition to the $500 million NIH would get under the 21st Century Cures Act. ScienceInsider adds that the National Science Foundation could also see a bump to its budget under this agreement.

The Times says that the Senate and the House are expected to vote on the deal today, and that President Donald Trump has given it his support in a tweet.

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.