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Harvard Takes COI Into Its Own Hands

Harvard Medical School is instituting tough new conflict-of-interest rules for its faculty, the New York Times and The Boston Globe report. The new policy, which will take effect on January 1, prohibits Harvard staff from taking industry money to speak for pharmaceutical or medical device makers, and from accepting gifts, travel or meals. The university has also capped the amount of money a faculty member can receive from a company whose product or invention he or she is studying at $10,000 — the previous limit was $20,000, the Times reports.

NPR's Shots blog says there are still some things Harvard researchers can take money for. They can still take industry money for speeches they make about drugs or devices, but only if those speeches are crafted independently, not a company-written promo. The doctors can also take money for consulting (though anything over $5,000 has to be publicly reported), and can still take industry money to pay for continuing education classes (though there are new restrictions).

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.