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'Enlist a Diverse Portfolio of Mentors'

Blogger Comrade PhysioProf says that "one of the most important skills of professional scholarship to develop is the ability to seek, find, and enlist a diverse portfolio of mentors throughout one’s scholarly career, each of whom provides a particular aspect of expertise and insight." His comments serve as a response to a recent post by Dr. Crazy at Reassigned Time, who writes that she may never have come to her "research breakthrough" had she not sought a new mentor once her dissertation advisor ended their mentoring relationship "once my dissertation was defended and filed." CPP says he's "not sure why she assumes that had she maintained a close mentoring relationship with her thesis advisor, she would not have formed additional close mentoring relationships as her career progressed" — he remains "personally close" with his thesis and postdoctoral advisors despite the fact that he's also "sought out various types of mentoring from a number of individuals both at my institution and elsewhere."

During a recent Science Careers webinar, expert advisors Jonathon Jacobs, Ruth Pfeiffer, and Emil Chuck emphasized the importance of seeking additional mentors. Pfeiffer suggest that all her mentees seek a second mentor. Jacobs added that additional mentors, who are not involved in their mentees' day-to-day activities, supply "a fresh perspective." Jacobs and Preiffer both stressed the importance of remaining in contact with their former mentors throughout their careers.

In a comment to CPP's post, Dr. Crazy says that she appreciates her newfound mentors "indefinitely more because I was left out to sea by my diss[ertation] person and I had to find them without his help."

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.