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Come Back to Us, Charlie

Over at The Rough Guide to Evolution, Mark Pallen is trying to stir up support for a Charles Darwin Genome Project. Pallen says that with the recent mammoth genome being sequenced and Chuck Darwin's beard hair on full display at the Darwin's Big Idea exhibit, the time is right to sequence the old boy, and Pallen offers a road map. He says that Darwin's hair should first be turned over to Svante Paabo for the difficult task of amplification. Next is tracking down Darwin's descendants to provide Y chromosome and mitochondrial genome data. Finally, funding will have to allocated to hire a team to rip up the floor of Westminster Abbey, where Darwin's bones are buried. On this last step, Pallen says that common decency might stall their efforts to unearth Darwin's remains, but he hopes that by Darwin's 500th b-day in 2309, all the red tape should be cleared, so sit tight.


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.