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Government Roundup

December 21, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 49

Physicist Cherry Murray has been confirmed as the new director of DOE’s Office of Science. Before joining DOE, Murray was a physics professor and dean of engineering at Harvard University and leader of the science and technology programs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—programs will have increasing support under a renewed K–12 education law signed by President Barack Obama earlier this month. Math and science testing, STEM teacher training, and more funding for state STEM programs are all part of the new law.

PrecisionFDA—a publicly accessible, cloud-based platform launched last week by FDA—provides a portal for scientists to share results of next-generation genome sequencing and compare their results to validated reference results. The goal is to improve the accuracy and quality of genomic testing.

Microbeads would be phased out of cosmetics in the U.S. in less than two years under a bill (H.R. 1321) approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month. A similar bill (S. 1424) introduced in the Senate in May has seen no movement.

EPA’s Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response, which manages the federal Superfund program, solid and ­hazardous waste, and emergency response, has changed its name to the Office of Land & Emergency ­Management.


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