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Blogger: Three Years is Plenty

[email protected] says that while some who "completed a five, six, or seven-year PhD," might hear of a three-year doctorate "and say 'Well, it clearly must be inferior," that's not necessarily the case. In fact, Cath argues that a three-year PhD program requires that students really buckle down. "I was in the lab full time from the first day of my PhD. … No need to register for a master's first: 'Here’s a set of [pipettes] and a lab coat, now go!'" she recalls, adding that she "loved getting into the nitty-gritty details so early." Indeed, Cath claims she completed her thesis in only three months. Of course, abridged programs have a fair share of pitfalls. "The downside is that you're much less likely to publish well, if at all," she says of a three-year PhD, adding that "the lack of fellowship writing experience could also be a problem in some departments." In the end, though, Cath says it's all about weighing the options.

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.