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Government Roundup

July 27, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 30

A tax credit for R&D was approved by the Senate Finance Committee last week. Under the legislation, start-up companies and small businesses would qualify for the credit, which is currently unavailable to them. The legislation moves now to the Senate for ­consideration.

The Defense Department needs a new approach to toxicology testing for potentially dangerous chemicals, a new National Research Council report says. It suggests greater use of chemical structures and computer models to predict potential dangers and less reliance on animal testing.

Global sea levels have risen 2.6 inches since 1993, when satellites first began measurements, NOAA scientists report. In addition, 2014 saw 91 tropical cyclones compared with an average of 82 annual cyclone events from 1981 to 2010.

FracFocus is no longer the database of choice for fracking chemical disclosure in Pennsylvania. Citing accessibility and transparency problems with the industry-backed chemical disclosure repository, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection will require direct submission of data by oil and gas companies beginning next year.

Capture and storage technologies for carbon dioxide need to be developed rapidly to keep up with ballooning energy demand while avoiding devastating climate change, according to the International Energy Agency. Maria van der Hoeven, executive director at the agency, says given global demand, energy is needed from all sources, including coal.

Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health, will be leaving the agency in September. Rockey, who has overseen NIH’s grants program since 2005, will become director of the one-year-old Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, a federally backed nonprofit.


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