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Abandoned. By the Side of the Road. In the Rain

The US National Institutes of Health has made a deal with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly to share "abandoned experimental drugs" with academic researchers, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. The hope, Kaiser says, is that researchers will be able to find new uses for the drugs. The companies will grant access to two dozen compounds that have passed safety studies, but were deemed ineffective for a specific purpose. "Often tens of millions of dollars and years of research have gone into these compounds, so they are already well along the drug development pipeline," Kaiser says. "The government program will allow academics to 'crowdsource' ways to use them." This program will be the first initiative of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which plans to use $20 million of its requested $575 million 2013 budget to fund the grants.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.