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Can You Be More Specific?

Februa at Almost a PhD says she was disappointed by a recent seminar she attended on alternative career opportunities in the life sciences. The presentation, she says, was a "total flop," because "no one was talking about any specific alternative careers. ... I mean, they could have at least named some of these 'alternative jobs.' I'm sick of just hearing 'industry' or 'government' — those are sectors not jobs!"

Blogger Prodigal Academic pooled together some concrete examples of careers outside of academia — from patent law to consulting to sales — and anecdotal evidence of researchers' experiences with them. Prodigal Academic knows of two people who have left academic positions to become program officers at funding agencies. "One left National Lab to become an officer because he wanted to move away from doing research himself," the blogger writes. As for the blogger's patent attorney friends, "they seem to like the excitement of seeing so much technology on the cutting edge," Prodigal Academic adds.

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.