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What's Bigger, Operating Cost or Number of Authors?

Big Science may be making headway according to scientists, but an article in US News and World Report disparages the whoppingly expensive Cancer Genome Project as only being a pilot that hasn't quite gotten off the ground due to flat funding and "cultural resistance to strategically directed big science." With a budget of $100 million, TCGA is "a costly effort even by genomics standards," writes Daniel MacArthur at Genetic Future. But, "it's hard to think of a recent Big Science project in human genetics that hasn't exceeded expectations, to the horror of its inevitable early detractors," he 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.