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Adam Smith Would be Proud

On his blog, Building Confidence, Russ Altman suggests that scientists write their own summaries of genetic association studies for the public. He says there need not be a healthcare worker to help a person understand their genetic information (he calls that "paternalistic") if journal editors and authors would include summaries defining, in lay terms, the health significance of the alleles in the study and how that information relates to other genetic or environmental data. "Basically, I am proposing that we handle the issue of 'public education' by creating inexpensive and ubiquitous summaries of the health implications of genetic associations, peer review them, disseminate them widely and freely, and allow a market to emerge that helps individuals interpret their genome," Altman writes.

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.