The NIH and the American Society for Microbiology have jointly issued a document (pdf) entitled "Basic Research on Bacteria. The Essential Frontier." Readers of this blog may find this an enlightened manifesto that makes a lucid case for the subtitle of the report. This is not surprising, considering that it was assembled by some 60 outstanding scientists from academia and the Federal Government. It would be too optimistic to hope that such a report will alter the funding situation overnight, but in the long run it can only help. In the meanwhile, it makes for good reading.