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Narrowing the Focus

A group of more than 50 researchers and policy-makers led by scientists at the University of Cambridge in the UK have come together to create a list of "40 key unanswered questions" in order to help governments around the world shape the focus of their scientific agendas, reports Nature News' Daniel Cressey. Published recently in PLoS One, "the questions are grouped into six broad themes, such as 'understanding the role of scientific evidence in policymaking' and 'democratic governance of scientific advice,'" Cressey says. "The questions themselves include 'Under what conditions does scientific evidence legitimize political decisions?' and 'What impact has research on the relationship between science and policy actually had on science policy?'"

The team says it hopes the questions help those responsible for setting agendas understand where to focus their efforts, and adds that, while its list of questions isn't definitive, it does open up the floor for future discussions.

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.