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Women Wanted

At US News & World Report's STEM Education blog, the University of Virginia's Joanne McGrath Cohoon says that technical fields need capable women, "especially at a time when unemployment is high and our economy is weak." But McGrath Cohoon says attracting women to work in STEM fields will be difficult until "women experience the same conditions as their male classmates," and gender-based stereotypes fade.

"Evidence continues to mount that capable women in technical fields have less confidence than men that they will be successful," McGrath Cohoon says. "Unfortunately, many of these women are wrong. They could succeed in engineering or computing, and it is in our interest that they do."

In the meantime, she adds, educators can take action by giving their female students "lots of opportunities to succeed at technical tasks." McGrath Cohoon also suggests verbal encouragement. "With these steps, we could double the number of technical people working to make this a better world," she says.

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.