Update: Science reports the closure of 12 intramural labs.
Extramural PIs, your colleagues on the inside at the NIH feel your pain. The NICHD just slashed lab operating budgets for their 84 intramural PIs by 50% in the remaining 5 months of the fiscal year.
According to Science, “Scientists say they are now shutting down some studies that use expensive reagents. One investigator says his group is killing transgenic mice; others may pay their own way to meetings. Postdocs nearing the end of their 5-year term may not be able to finish projects that would be important for seeking faculty positions. Judith Kassis said her fruit fly lab will switch from costly molecular projects to genetics work to cope with a budget cut from $29,000 to $14,500. Even so, Kassis feels she may be doing ‘better than the outside” because “at least we have some money.'”
And Science also cheerily reports that a more than half-century investment in biological and ecological research will be canceled at the end of the month – poof – just like that: “Researchers from around the world have come to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory near Aiken, South Carolina, since 1951 to study how nuclear waste can affect habitats and wild populations of bacteria, fish, and reptiles. But [due to Department of Energy withdrawal of funding] … lab officials said they would need to close its doors at the end of the month.”