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Blogging Synthetic Bio

In the latest post at the Omics! Omics! blog, author Keith Robison speaks to the wonders of synthetic biology by pointing out a recent paper published in the online edition of PNAS. A group of biophysicists at UC Berkeley recently constructed a slightly tweaked version of E. coli in an attempt to impart it with the ability to use light to harvest energy. Normally, E. coli doesn't know what to do with light, but this synthetic version, with one gene from another microorganism, can make energy with the right wavelength, according to the blog.

 

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.