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Applied sciences and engineering/Agriculture/Agronomy/Crop science/Crops

International News Editor Richard Stone describes how science in Iran has managed under international isolation, and how it may expand under a new pact.

Those who care about the poor must also care about agriculture and how to expand the use of innovative farming technology in the developing world, a top official of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said recently at AAAS.

Rob Horsch, deputy director of research and development in the agricultural development program at the Foundation, said improved agriculture offers the biggest opportunity for the poor to lift themselves out of poverty.

After a tense week in which a government shutdown was averted, the White House and congressional leaders agreed on a 2011 budget that spared research and development from the worst of the cuts, according to Patrick Clemins, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program.

The heat wave that blasted large parts of Eastern Europe last summer likely made 2010 the warmest of the last 510 years in Europe, according to researchers.

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus act, provided $21.5 billion for federal research and development. Among the act’s benefits to society, more than 400,000 jobs for one year were expected to be created or saved. Now policy makers are investigating the impact that those funds have made on creating jobs, expanding scientific knowledge, and spurring the economy.