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Not For Free

Some comments on a previous post over at DrugMonkey's place said that NIH grants were free money and wondered why taxpayers should subsidize researchers' livelihoods — on comment in particular said that research does not provide any "deliverables." DrugMonkey tears these arguments up:

Sure there are deliverables. Knowledge. We're supposed to generate new understanding of the natural world, broadly put. And that's exactly what we do. There is uncertainty and failure to deliver, perhaps, but all the government can do is to halt payment or fail to award subsequent funding.
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.