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Science Progressing: February 17

Science Progressing is your weekly guide to the science and technology policy news you should not have missed. Did we leave anything out? Tweet or facebook us and let us know.

The 2013 science budget
Check out Science Insider’s great resource for FY 2013 science budget analysis.

Debate on Capitol Hill over Cyber Security Act of 2012
Sen. John McCain dashed hopes for easy passage of a bipartisan cyber security bill on the grounds that it put power to oversee safety in the hands of the civilian Department of Homeland Security, rather than the Department of Defense.

Viewing the world through a ‘mathematical lens’ can help young children learn math
NSF research finds new approaches to helping children learn mathematics through incorporation of math into free play and other daily activities.

Controversy unfolds over leaked documents from fringe denial group
The Heartland Institute, a 501(c)3 climate denial charity has had several alleged confidential fundraising documents released on the internet. These documents reveal methodical plans to discredit climate science and seek out funding from the Koch foundation. Ironically, the Heartland Institute lauded the release of stolen emails from climate scientists in 2010, but isn’t so happy about the release of its own documents.

Has Google been tracking iPhones without anyone’s permission?
A report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Google has been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of Safari users, by tracking the browsing habits of people, even if they thought they had blocked such monitoring.

“The Right to Peaceably Assemble” -with your cellphone
Chicago Alderman Ricardo Munoz introduced an ordinance to the Chicago City Council meeting Wednesday to prevent the city from blocking cellular communications during the G-8 and NATO summit in May. This brings back into the spotlight how technology has changed the landscape of first amendment rights.

Genetic Rosetta Stone Unveiled in Nature
Geneticists have created an automated database sequencing process to correlate genetic data at nucleotide level to controlled environmental conditions. This type of whole genome data and demographic information collection is crucial to “determining the basis for traits and disease, it is critical to develop methods for detecting all forms of genetic variation.”

Moderate pollution increases stroke risk 34 percent
A joint study by Brown and Harvard Universities, data from the Boston area, found a 34 percent increase in stroke risk on days that were considered “moderate” pollution days compared to “good” quality days by EPA standards.

Google a safety mechanism for chemists
A chemist at Washington State University has adapted Google’s PageRank algorithms to create moleculaRnetworks, which scientists can use to determine molecular shapes and chemical reactions without the expense, logistics and occasional danger of lab experiments. The unexpected application of computer science technology to chemistry is a great example of how unpredictable innovation can be.

White House sets deadline for release of agency policies (subscription required)
Federal agencies must soon publicly release their scientific integrity policies, after the White House set a long-awaited deadline on plans that have been more than three years in the making.

This week’s news compiled by Science Progress intern Jason Thomas.

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