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Why Compete? Collaborate!

During the Wharton Global Alumni Forum held in San Francisco in June, Jeremy Siegel and Craig Venter "unknowingly connected two wires and illuminated a light bulb in my head," writes Jeffrey Sheehan from the University of Pennsylvania at Business Insider. Siegel, also at UPenn, spoke of research productivity — specifically, that "the rate of discovery ... is strongly influenced by the number of individuals engaged in common research," Sheehan says — while Venter discussed, among other things, his team's efforts to revamp vaccine production using synthetic genomics. "He [Venter] also described how research is now a twenty-four hour a day phenomenon, with Chinese researchers picking up ideas just as Americans go to sleep, and then passing the results of their cogitation to the Europeans as they wake up, and so on endlessly," Sheehan says, which, when taken with key themes gleaned from Siegel's talk, led him to realize that communication and cooperation are key "to enhance productivity and ... spread prosperity." Because of this, Sheehan proposes that "we re-engineer our thinking about collaboration." Overall, "we need more collaboration and less competition," 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.