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Scientific Integrity Panel to Meet

A new US scientific integrity panel is to meet later this week to ferret out any instances in which political considerations may have interfered with science, the Associated Press reports.

"We want people to be able to trust what the federal government is telling you, whether it’s a weather forecast or information about vaccine safety or whatever," Jane Lubchenco, the deputy director for climate and environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, tells the AP.

President Joe Biden created the task force in a memorandum issued in January to review scientific regulatory policies at federal agencies. As Science noted at the time, the creation of the task force was seen as a rebuke to the Trump Administration. A report from the Brennan Center at New York University, for instance, found that scientific independence was eroding under the previous administration and pointed to, as an example, 'Sharpiegate' in which misleading information about the path of a hurricane was issued.

Rice University's Douglas Brinkley tells the AP that the Biden Administration approach to examining scientific integrity is flawed as it is only looking back to 2009 and he says a longer view looking all the way back to 1945 should be taken.

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.