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'Indie' Scientists: We Salute You

The Rock Stars of Science campaign has been big news lately, as the 2010 "stars" appear in GQ's December issue. But what about stellar scientists who are less well known? Zen Faulkes at NeuroDojo says the scientists being honored are "people who have made it," who, in general, "run big operations with big money." But for every rock star, there's an "indie star," Faulkes says — one who's only known by science insiders and likely won't ever be recognized by millions of people. "I want an Indie Bands of Science campaign," Faulkes says, "to celebrate the grad students who are still trying to break into a science career, the overworked postdocs, and the profs who run labs on shoestrings." It's not about how much grant money someone brings in, but about the quality of the science they do, he adds. Because a lot of great science can be done on the cheap, Faulkes says it's time to "celebrate the indie spirit."

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.