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“Other countries, such as China and India, are increasing their funding of scientific research because they understand its critical role in spurring technological advances and other innovations,” Mr. Orbach wrote in an editorial in the journal Science.

Mr. Orbach, now director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, said the bill would “all but eliminate” funding for biological research centers that aim to develop transportation fuels from plant sugars.

Other cuts would affect programs to develop solar power and other alternative, renewable energy sources.

WASHINGTON

Suicide rates higher among American Indians

Young American Indians commit suicide at a rate more than three times the national average. Now a private program has been created to focus on improving the lives of young Indians.

The Washington-based Center for Native American Youth is a new initiative of the Aspen Institute, a think-tank based in Washington and Colorado.

The center is underwritten by a $1 million donation from former Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, North Dakota Democrat, who retired in January after three decades in Congress. Mr. Dorgan, a Democrat, was chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and led efforts to increase funds for programs to benefit American Indians.

Mr. Dorgan, now a policy adviser at a Washington law firm, said money for the institute was transferred from excess campaign donations.

From wire dispatches and staff reports