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Science and the Great Economic Downturn

The US economic stimulus package totals $500 billion, but of that, only $1 billion is for science. Elias Zerhouni tells Nature that that's "almost an insult, frankly." He also says that the US is "subsidizing the industries of the past at the expense of investments in the industries of the future." A related article in the Washington Post says that the next NIH director has his or her work cut out: NIH's budget, when adjusted for inflation, has declined; the average age of an investigator at the time of first grant has risen to 42; conflict-of-interest rules need to be overhauled; and more. Science Progress adds that the American Association of Research Universities is sending a letter to the Obama administration with suggestions on how to help schools out.

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.