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In Taxonomy, New Funding Is Going Once, Going Twice ...

How much would you pay to make a bunch of biologists refer to a Latin-ized version of your name? The Chicago Tribune reports on a growing trend to sell the naming rights for newly discovered species. In the latest instance, "Purdue University researchers will be auctioning off the naming rights to seven recently discovered types of bats [and two] Amazonian turtles," the article says.

The story quotes Purdue scientist John Bickham as saying "There's not very much money to support the kind of work it takes to discover these new species." This alternative approach can provide quite a bit of funding -- the Trib story notes that "a fish-naming auction in Monaco raised more than $2 million for conservation work in Indonesia." According to this blog post at Scientific American, bids for the bat names will start at $250,000.


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.