As researchers bemoan cuts in federal funding for basic science, a new study of millions of patents indicates the value of spending tax dollars on research.

Ever since the great push for technological innovation during World War II and immediately afterward, the U.S. government has played an important role in fueling scientific research and innovation. About 10% of NIH grants now directly result in patents, and some commentators have argued that some industrial breakthroughs like the iPhone owe a great deal to government-funded research.

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