Now that the elections are over, Congress, President Obama and his administration may finally turn their attention to urgent decisions that will determine the size and health of the two poles of the biomedical R&D universe: the basic research that fuels discovery at one end, and at the other, the revenues that are essential for continued investment in innovative products.

Washington's to-do list for the remaining weeks of 2012 includes forestalling, modifying or acquiescing to the enactment of sequestration, the across-the-board budget cuts that could cripple American science for a generation and limit FDA's ability to modernize.