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A Blank Canvas

As a newly hired assistant professor, Dr. Becca at Fumbling Towards Tenure faces several decisions related to the setup of her lab-to-be. As Becca's institution has chosen to build her wet lab in a "previously non-lab-containing space," she will have a say as to "drawer size, outlet height, cabinets [versus] open shelves," and other layout-related considerations. A general consensus among readers who've commented on her post is that is no such thing as too many electrical outlets, circuits, and hard-wired Internet connections. Some have also suggested that Becca plan her lab's layout according to how she expects her group to grow in the future. Having helped design a new lab while a technician at his former institution, Genomic Repairman offers Becca a few suggestions over at his blog. Like the others, he stresses the importance of reliable power sources and Internet connections. As for equipment storage, Genomic Repairman adds that open shelving or cabinets with glass doors are best. While cabinet doors generally serve to "only get in the way," Genomic Repairman says that when they're necessary, glass helps to "see what lurks behind" them. "Label … everything," he adds. In addition, Genomic Repairman says "you better have something to back your data up to." He suggests using the institution's storage, if any, as well as off-site storage for important data.

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.