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NIH Could Use a More Targeted Approach

Mike the Mad Biologist blogs about how to improve the grant review process at NIH. He argues that NIH mandates are too broad and that too much of the funded research is investigator-driven rather than focused around a particular goal. "My experience has been that with very targeted calls for proposals, there are far fewer proposals submitted, and it's much easier to flat out reject them because many proposals are not germane to the funding objectives," he writes. "NIH program officers have to be far more active in defining specific research objectives than they have been."

 

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.