Started last November in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Google Flu Trends this week increased its coverage from four to 20 countries. This innovative effort to track the spread of flu is based on the popularity of web search terms that Google researchers have linked to actual flu patterns. (In the current graph, left, redder colors reflect more flu activity.)
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics reveals that the number of researchers in developing countries jumped from 1.8 million to 2.7 million in 5 years (2002–2007), an impressive 45% increase—developed countries only saw a 8.6% rise over the same period.
Over at the National Press Club this afternoon, the U.S. Department of Agriculture officially launched its National Institute of Food and Agriculture—the new home for extramural funding—with a show of support from the Administration. "The White House is behind you 100%," said John Holdren, head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the event. "My communications director wanted me to say 150%, but as a scientist I couldn't bring myself do that," he quipped. A news story about NIFA will appear in tomorrow's issue of Science.