Democrats and Republicans are near agreement on a $10 billion COVID-19 funding package; scientists perform the first complete, gapless sequence of a human genome; more than a third of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the pandemic.
As the Biden administration’s request for $22 billion in COVID-19 funding remained at an impasse in Congress, Bloomberg reports that Democrats and Republicans are near agreement on a lesser $10 billion funding package. Funds of the emerging deal would be directed to purchasing existing vaccines and developing new ones, buying novel treatments, and covering patient costs. The White House’s request to allocate funds toward global vaccine efforts were noted to be likely excluded from the bill, with a potential other bill in the near future to address the issue.
The National Institutes of Health announced yesterday, March 31, that scientists have performed the first complete, gapless sequence of a human genome. The full sequencing builds on work by the Human Genome Project 2 decades ago that mapped 92% of the genome. The final 8% of the genome includes numerous genes and repetitive DNA, and it provides more accurate maps on 5 chromosome arms that will help scientists understand how chromosomes properly segregate and divide.
An analysis by the CDC found that more than a third of high school students reported experiencing poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Associated Press reports that findings are based on anonymous online surveys of about 7700 public and private high school students from 128 schools during the first 6 months of 2021. Findings further showed that LGBT youth reported poorer mental health and more suicide attempts than others; 75% said they suffered emotional abuse in the home and 20% reported physical abuse.