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Around The Blogs

Around The Blogs is a continuing series where we bring you interesting stories – from biology to technology, and beyond. In this edition we have a brief update on how the recent US national budget agreement might affect science, an introduction to journal retractions, an important technological birthday, a poisonous rat and 3-D printing.

The issue of the US national budget continues to be a fiery topic. I am sure we are all curious: How could scientific research be affected? Discretionary spending – where federal research gets its dollars – appears to remain stagnant, with slight increases scheduled after 2012. For more detail on this, including three other ways science might benefit due to the recent budget bonanza, see ScienceInsider’s article, A First Look at the Debt Agreement and U.S. Research.

Writers at Retraction Watch take a moment to explain Why do – and don’t – journal editors retract articles? They’re celebrating their first anniversary of blogging, and promising a very engaging year two.

The African Crested Rat has an interesting defense strategy: It gnaws on a poisonous plant and then spreads the poison onto special hairs in its fur. Any predator who tries to eat the rat will never forget the encounter. Learn more at Nature News Blog: Poisonous rat gives predators a heart-stopping surprise.

Happy (belated) birthday, World Wide Web! Twenty years ago we were only beginning to branch out into cyberspace with blinking text, MIDI music and electronic mailing lists. Thanks to your continued contributions, the World Wide Web is a interactive place where we gather to laugh, learn, debate and collaborate.

Over at ScienceDaily, Engineers Fly Worlds First ‘Printed’ Aircraft. Is the sky the limit for this rapidly-advancing 3-D printing technology? Just imagine how the technology could be applied in the laboratory. Tell us in the comments what you would print for science…a -80 freezer, perhaps?

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