<p>Biodefense Spending Data</p>

In late February, 758 microbiologists signed an open letter claiming that the number of NIH grants for research on bacteria and yeast had dropped precipitously since 2000 compared to the previous five-year period (see http://www.biomed-central.com/news/20050301/02). That drop, they say, was due to funding being siphoned off into billions of dollars in biodefense spending. In response, NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases claimed just the opposite – releasing data concluding that at least in NIAID, support for basic microbiology has generally increased since 2000. The Scientist presents the data. It's certainly not a clear picture.

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