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Women's Slow — but Steady — Gains in Biotech's Upper Ranks

Slate's Jill Priluck says that "the higher rates of women-founded biotech firms are impressive only in comparison to other high-tech fields," as they comprise "only 12 percent of all founders, even though they are about half of the PhDs." Still, Priluck notes, women have made gains in biotech's ranks, in part because they "benefit from the biotech industry's less hierarchical, team-based structure." In addition, Boston University's Laurel Smith-Doerr has found that "women are nearly eight times more likely to run independent labs in biotech firms than in more traditional settings like universities and large pharmaceutical companies," Priluck reports, adding that female biotech employees submit patents at the same rate as men.

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.