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Fear Not, US

For those who worry that the US is losing its "scientific and technological edge over the rest of the world," Forbes' Matthew Herper says, fear not — the US is still on top. Herper asked Elsevier's consulting group SciVal Analytics to run an analysis of which countries produce the most publications in biology and medicine, and the data found that of almost 3,000 articles published in biomedical research in 2009, 40 percent — 1,169 articles — came from the US. The closest competitor is the UK at about 300 articles published in 2009, Herper says. The number of publications from the US grew about 7 percent between 2005 and 2009. "It's true that countries like South Korea (annualized growth: 32 percent), China (26 percent), and Ireland (22 percent) are growing a lot faster, but they are also starting from a smaller base." Herper adds. The US's citation score is also high, though the Netherlands and Switzerland scored higher on that point. "There may be threats to America's position in biomedicine, but at best they are hoof beats in the distance, not imminent dangers," Herper 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.