October 11, 2013 | David

When I heard that the US government was going into shutdown, I thought it was a joke. But the more I hear about important science projects being shut down, the more I realise it's deadly serious.

Long-term research into space and the Antarctic has been badly affected. But I'm most worried about people's health. Cancer patients have had clinical trials cancelled. And the Center for Disease Control is worried that it can't investigate a dangerous new salmonella outbreak. How many lives will the shutdown cost?

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Petri dish with black growths

Thousands of scientists have been prevented from working.

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Image: Flickr/Nathan Reading

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