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The Atlantic Talks Tenure, Too

The Atlantic's Megan McArdle says that academic tenure's heyday has passed — the practice is now too costly and "transparently self-serving," she writes. McArdle also suggests that the practice stifles diversity and innovation rather than enhancing it. "The best you can say of the system is that it preserves a sort of continuity in schools that is desirable for the purposes of cultivating alumni donations," she writes. She also discusses the process of achieving tenure in the current academic career climate. PhDs and postdocs, McArdle says "are back on the job market near entry level at an age when most of their peers have spent ten years building up marketable skills." As with the recent New York Times discussion, comments to this article are fueling a lively debate — there have been 261 posted so far.

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.