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Senate Confirms Lander

The Senate has confirmed Eric Lander to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in a voice vote, the Hill reports.

President Joe Biden nominated Lander, the director of the Broad Institute, to serve as science advisor, a post he elevated to a Cabinet-level position, in January. NBC News noted at the time that the change was meant to accentuate the Biden Administration's commitment to science.

During his nomination hearing, Lander faced questions about his meetings with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his downplaying of the contributions of women in science. Lander said that his interactions with Epstein were brief and that he did not learn of his "sordid history" until later. He, meanwhile, acknowledged that he understated the roles of Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier in the development of CRISPR and promised to "make full inclusion and equitable outcomes a high priority."

Politico notes, that Lander, who was confirmed Friday, was the last of President Biden's Cabinet nominees to be confirmed. Lander previously served as co-chair of the Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology during the Obama Administration.

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.