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Government Roundup

December 10, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 50

Mercury levels in some seafood—including lobster, tuna, and swordfish—often exceed concentrations for safe human consumption, says a report released last week from the Biodiversity Research Institute, a scientific group. It finds that mercury contamination is ubiquitous in marine ecosystems globally.

Basic research requires a renewed focus if the U.S. is to keep its science and technology dominance, warns a new report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. Among its recommendations is more funding for R&D.

Diverse companies that conduct research across multiple business areas are more likely to invest heavily in R&D, an NSF report shows. However, 92% of companies invest in only one area.

Energy & Commerce Committee leaders in the House of Representatives are urging the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry to adopt a rigorous, scientific approach and consult with state and local public health officials as it evaluates health effects of hydraulic fracturing and other natural gas development activities.

NASA can’t develop long-term priorities until Congress and the Administration come to a consensus on strategic goals and objectives for the agency, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report also says agency programs and its budget are mismatched.

Argonne National Laboratory was selected by the Department of Energy to be its battery research hub. The laboratory will receive up to $120 million over five years to direct a national R&D effort to develop advanced energy storage devices. Argonne’s consortium includes five other DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private companies.


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