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Those Who Do, Teach

Being a teacher helps improve research skills, says report in Science. The University of Virginia's David Feldon and his team used a rubric to compare the quality of research proposals from 95 early-career graduate students in STEM fields at the beginning and end of an academic year. During the year, half the students had teaching and research responsibilities, and half had only research responsibilities. After controlling for pre-existing differences between the groups, the researchers say that those students who taught and did research "demonstrate significantly greater improvement in their abilities to generate testable hypotheses and design valid experiments." The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that these findings are contrary to what many science graduate programs say: Teaching distracts from research. "The findings resonate with people," Feldon tells the Chronicle. "Of the people I've spoken to about this study, half said, 'Of course that's what you found.' The other half said, 'There's no way that can be true. Your data must be wrong.' Everyone's got an opinion on this, but there's been little data."

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.