The financial crisis befalling the nation has proven that its tentacles reach even into the scientific community. On Saturday (Sept. 27), the US Senate decided to freeze federal funding of any program except those relating to veterans affairs and national security by linkurl:passing; bill linkurl:HR 2638.; This leaves many US science agencies including NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation high and dry for the first half of the 2009 fiscal year. The bill, which received broad bipartisan support in Congress, keeps the budgets of NASA, the NIH, the NSF, and the Department of Energy at current levels from tomorrow - October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year - until March 6, 2009. The passage of this legislation scuttles an attempt to linkurl:boost; the NIH budget by $500 million before the start of the fiscal year as well as linkurl:other; planned NIH budget increases. Only...

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