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A Contract Researcher's Life

David Perrey at Chemical Space says that working a contract position at a non-profit research institute is much like his former, full-time research gig, though the salary and benefits are different. "I am paid hourly now ... so hours count," Perrey says. "And if I am not at work, I don't get paid." While overtime is an option, he says it's one that must be agreed upon in advance. As a temporary employee, Perrey also says his "benefits are another big difference," as they are arranged and administered by his contract employment agency rather than by the institute where he works. "They are not in business to offer long vacations and comprehensive insurance plans," he says of the agency, though he adds that his benefits are "enough to get by" on. Overall, Perrey says doing research as a temporary employee is very similar to doing it as a full-time one, "but it is in the perks and especially the benefits that a contractor feels different." As for job secutiry, Perrey says that "in some ways, knowing that your contract is up in six months is greater certainty than some of the permanent employees I have met have."

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.