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Cutting and Pasting DNA

On his blog, Keith Robison walks through the history of restriction enzymes — from the use of pBR322, to the blue and white reporting colonies of β-galactosidase, to polylinkers. He suggests that biology classes look at the pUC polylinker to find all the palindromes and bioinformatics classes write a program to design a polylinker with specific endonuclease sites — and remember that the first polylinker was designed by hand, on paper.

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.