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Cheat Sheet for Nature

Today's issue of Nature, GTO-style:

In this editorial, the team examines the challenges facing drug giant Pfizer, which has new management and recently announced plans to lay off some 10,000 employees and shut down some lab facilities (the Ann Arbor, Mich., lab facing this fate is the subject of a story in the news section). Nature's take is that this will be a crucial lesson for the industry as a whole, which is still trying to find its footing in an environment with fewer and fewer blockbuster drugs on the horizon. GTO's silver lining lesson for Pfizer: hey, at least you're not Ford.

In this paper from lead author Susse Kirkelund Hansen, scientists report on research into biofilms, using a simplified community of just two organisms. The authors report on how a mutation in the genome of one organism altered the physical environment for both critters.

And here's an article from Lutz Bornmann, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, on gender bias issues in science. In addition to the study Bornmann and colleagues conducted, the author refers to a report from the US National Science Foundation which found that "women faculty earn less, are promoted less frequently to senior academic ranks, and publish less frequently than their male counterparts."


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.