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'Snoop' Projects, Yes, But Also People

Blogger DrugMonkey discusses the merits of "grant-snooping" as a career tool for young investigators. He says that checking up on funded research using the National Institutes of Health's RePORTER system "is an exercise in the necessary" for investigators who seek to secure funds from the agency. DrugMonkey says it is important to not only to look up which projects have been funded, but also the people who have been awarded funds. "I have usually found that the result of grant snooping is more encouraging than is conventional wisdom. When I see someone else having secured grant funding that appears to violate conventional wisdom, well, 'why not me too?'" he says. Further, using NIH's RePORTER to research a particular investigator could give an early-career researcher a better idea of what to expect. For a young investigator, "it can ... be comforting to review people who seemingly struggled on the grant shoestring for years before finally hitting it hard with multiR01 support," DrugMonkey says, adding that "perhaps this will keep your confidence up that things will eventually get easier."

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.