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Feeding the Beast

A Wall Street Journal article reports that Pfizer is talking about acquiring rival Wyeth for $68 billion in the largest pharmaceutical deal in nearly a decade. The blogosphere is abuzz, mostly with negative feedback. Derek Lowe has written two posts, one at In the Pipeline and another at The Atlantic's blog. With its patent on Lipitor running out soon, Pfizer will have to be quick to get some new drugs in the pipeline. Hence, the latest buyout -- a recurring pattern, Lowe says. "So the fear, among scientists like me, is that Pfizer is going to take another productive research organization, raid it for what it considers to be of immediate value, fire a lot of people, and then take the rest and do whatever it is they do to them to Pfizerize their productivity. And then in a few years, they'll do it again."

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.