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Another Drug to Cross Off the Personalized Med List

A feature article in the August issue of Scientific American throws into question the concept of race-based drugs — how race is, or is not, meaningfully taken into account as a way to label genetic variation among individuals in clinical trials. Author Jonathan Kahn details the history of the making of BiDil, a drug intended to treat congestive heart failure only in African-Americans, into the first "ethnic drug." Kahn writes that the drug was FDA-approved under faulty evidence, and warns that most scientists don't see race as a useful way to predict drug response or genetic variation when it comes to creating more drugs like BiDil.

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.