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Runaway Researchers

UK government officials are warning that cuts to the government's science budget will lead to a "brain drain" of researchers leaving the country, says the Guardian's Alok Jha. In a letter to science minister David Willetts, chairman of the House of Lords science and technology committee Lord John Krebs says several labs have already lost researchers to institutions in other countries, and that further cuts to science spending — like the 25 percent cut the government is planning for all its departments — would cause even more drain, Jha writes. Graduate students have been leaving the UK for research institutions in the US and Germany because of a lack of resources, he adds. In addition, the UK is struggling with its own problem of government funding for stem cell research. In the UK, the issue is not a problem with the courts, but rather that the government has invested too little money into the research. "Richard Sykes, chairman of the UK stem cell foundation, blamed the previous government for failing to honor its commitment to help researchers turn their discoveries into medical therapies and urged coalition ministers to revive support for the field," Jha says.

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.