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Zerhouni's 5 Percent

Here's an insightful article from the Wall Street Journal ($) on a shift in NIH funding policy recently signed into law by US President George W. Bush. The change, which has patient advocacy groups up in arms, essentially gives NIH Director Elias Zerhouni control over about 5 percent of the agency's budget -- rather than having 100 percent of the control reside with all of the separate institutes.

The move could be a positive one for our community, as the goal is to direct that money to "research projects that cut across traditional biomedical fields and across multiple NIH fiefs," according to the article. (On that same page, you can access various podcasts of Zerhouni talking about the changes.)

 

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.