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Not Enough Training

"Today's trainees are sold promises that their hard work in the lab will pay off with tenure-track positions in academia," writes the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's Benjamin Corb in a post at the organization's News From the Hill blog. "Nearly one in three biomedical PhDs will end up with a career in the private sector, and yet our community rarely if ever provides training to PhDs that will both prepare them for alternative careers and educate them on realistic employment options that will be available."

And so, Corb says, while groups like the US National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee to the Director's Biomedical Workforce Working Group have advocated for broad training options for biomedical PhDs, it is simply not enough. "If we are using NIH dollars to train PhDs for the research and academic careers we want for them but only 23 percent of them are reaching that goal, it is time to find answers to critical questions," he says.

Corb and the rest of ASBMB's public affairs team are soliciting suggestions for how to fix the PhD training problem, which they intend to submit to the NIH.

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.