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'Post-Election Panic'

A US House of Representatives budget subcommittee has recommended that the US National Institutes of Health receive no budget increase in 2013. Any other year, this would be bad news but this year, some researchers may be heaving sighs of relief that the news wasn't worse, say Ivan Semeniuk and Helen Thompson at Nature News — at least, so far. With the presidential elections coming up in November, many funding agencies are already expecting a "post-election panic," Semeniuk and Thompson write — the major reason being an upcoming pre-programmed budget cut, called a sequester, that could effectively "starve US science-funding agencies." Congress is too divided to come to an agreement before the sequester is automatically implemented in less than six months. "And even if Congress does manage to introduce last-minute legislation, as many observers expect, the sequester will have cast a shadow over the contentious process of funding science in a time of fiscal constraints — and in an election year," Semeniuk and Thompson add.

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.