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Talking to People about Science

An editorial in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology on "engaging the public" in a discussion about scientific discovery has drawn the attention of In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe, who says the advice given is "sound, if still rather boring." The editorial advocates talking to people about science on their level, gauging their level of knowledge before delving into a topic, and not using scientific jargon and acronyms, all of which Lowe says is useful advice, but that it has already been repeated often. It's not until the last few lines of the editorial that there is something new, Lowe says — that researchers start their own Web sites to teach people about science. "What I'd like for all science outreach activities to do, though, is get across what science really is, what research is like, and broadly how it works," Lowe says. "Rather than start off by trying to teach everyone lots of details, I'd rather that more people understood what the whole effort is like."

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.