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Just What You Needed: More Stats to Learn

A post from blogger Agnostic at Gene Expression asks whether the use of information criteria -- that is, how well an observation fits a statistical model with given hypotheses -- is beginning to replace p-values. While the community leans heavily on p-values, Agnostic notes that these measures are limited by their connection to a null hypothesis: "They do not allow us to decide which of a variety of hypotheses or models is true." Agnostic ran a literature search and found that while p-values are still far more common, the use of information criteria models is increasing. "The writing is on the wall," Agnostic blogs. "Aside from being intellectually superior, information criteria will give you a competitive edge in the job market, at least in the near future. After that, they will be required."

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.