Physicists, geneticists, AIDS researchers and space scientists have continued to make scientific strides in recent months, but federal money for science has grown tighter. Physicists said they were confident they had observed the elusive subatomic Higgs boson, a key to understanding the makeup of the universe. In addition, researchers claimed to have found a “functional cure” of an HIV-infected newborn after the baby showed no sign of the virus in normal testing following aggressive drug treatment. Bionic medicine achieved new heights as scientists linked paralyzed people’s minds to machinery, enabling them to perform tasks. Advances in genome research opened new vistas to disease treatment, and NASA scientists achieved a remarkable Mars landing that could pave the way for human exploration of the planet. But science suffered a financial blow as federal support fell 7 percent in fiscal 2013.