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A Chance to Try it Out

The US Food and Drug Administration approved biotech firm Geron's application to conduct a clinical trial of a human embryonic stem cell therapy. The decision came days after President Obama was inaugurated though Geron and FDA representatives say the timing is coincidental. Technology Review reports that the trial will include eight patients with new spinal-cord injuries and that they will be given GRNOPC1. GRNOPC1 is made by transforming ESCs into oligodendrocytes, which are cells that help electrical messages to be passed along nerves. The hope is that injecting these cells into injured sites would restore lost nerve function.

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.