The US government shutdown has lasted as long as 3.5 Apollo missions

How the political battle is affecting science — in four charts.

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Government workers rally to end the U.S. government shutdown

US government employees protest the ongoing federal shutdown.Credit: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The US government shutdown has interrupted studies of everything from distant galaxies to minuscule microbes since it began on 22 December. Thousands of federal researchers have been ordered to stay home, long-running experiments have been interrupted and academic scientists have been deprived of crucial funding.

Here are four ways of measuring the shutdown’s effects on science.

Source: NASA, Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access project, University of Indiana

Source: US Department of Labor

Source: Benjamin Corb, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Source:, Internet Archive

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-00204-y

Additional reporting by Sara Reardon and Emiliano Rodríguez Mega.

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