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Going Once … Going Twice … Sold to the Lady in the Lab Coat

Researcher Elizabeth Iorns has started a company that she hopes will speed up the pace of research and make doing science more efficient, reports Nature News' Zoë Corbyn. The company, Science Exchange, is a kind of "eBay for science," Corbyn says, where researchers can post experiments that they want to outsource and allow other researchers and institutions that have the facilities and expertise to do the work to submit bids for the experiments. "The goal is to make scientific research more efficient by making it easy for researchers to access experimental expertise from core facilities with underutilized capacity," Iorns tells Corbyn. Researchers can put work up for bids in order to access technologies they themselves don't have, or if they want a good deal for an outside provider, and those who do the work can build their reputations independent of their publications, she adds. The system would also allow institutions to make the most of their existing facilities, and let others to be more flexible about buying equipment. The Website takes a small commission on each match, Iorns says. So far, the response has been positive, and the community of researchers signing up for the service is growing. "It could transform the current very inefficient use of funds and dramatically change the way in which scientists do research," Iorns adds.

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.