Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Are the Bugs Smashed on the Grill the Same?

On his blog, Keith Robison points out a dataset he found in the NCBI Short Read Archive that got him laughing. The study, from Penn State's Anton Nekrutenko, looked into "windshield genomics," or asked these questions:

When I drive through Pennsylvania in June my windshield gets quite dirty with all these bugs. Yet do I know what they are? How many beetles versus butterflies? Is there a difference between day and night? Is there a difference between Pennsylvania and Connecticut?

Nekrutenko and his colleagues scraped bugs off windshield and sequenced them — there was indeed a difference between the bugs in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Robison adds, "Gotta admit some jealousy — I wish I had this much access to a second-gen sequencer that I could do such a whimsical project!"

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.