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Changing the Way Researchers Are Trained

"The question is, do we need to rethink how academia functions?" asks blogger Michael White at Adaptive Complexity. White draws on a recent article from Louis Menand in Harvard Magazine who writes — though he focuses mostly on the humanities — that graduate education is a "lengthy apprenticeship" that doesn't necessarily prepare those students who will be taking jobs outside of academia. White says the problem isn't as bad in the sciences, but agrees that "there is a huge inefficiency in the training system." White writes:

But do you really need a 7-year PhD in cell biology, followed by a 3-year postdoc to work for Merck doing drug discovery? In many cases, the answer is no, and this is why proposals are floating around for creating professional masters degree programs in the biomedical sciences, much like those that already exist in engineering.
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.