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News Outlets Examine Lingering Impacts Of U.S. Government Shutdown On Science Research

Noting “[t]he U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday night voted to end a partial shutdown of the U.S. government that has paralyzed science funding agencies, disrupted research projects and meetings, and threatened to wipe out an entire season of field studies,” Science Insider examines what the end of the shutdown means for researchers whose work had been affected, such as those working with the NIH and the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA, among others. “In some cases, it may take days or longer to resume normal operations,” the magazine writes, adding, “And the shutdown’s impacts could linger for months, as government officials attempt to wade through piles of grant applications, e-mails, and paperwork that piled up during the weeks they were required, by law, to stay away from their official e-mail and phone messages” (10/17).

ABC News reports on how the shutdown affected research at NIH, writing, “The labs, which are home to some of the most cutting-edge disease research in the country, at least had electricity throughout the government shutdown, sparing precious cells and tissues stored at sub-zero temperatures,” but “the shutdown still managed to stall research on cancer and other deadly diseases by halting experiments and delaying funding decisions, officials said.” The news service adds, “The true impact of the shutdown on NIH may become more clear on Friday, [a] spokeswoman said” (Moisse, 10/17).