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'Deliciously Cut-Throat' Annotations

The Community Assessment of Community Annotation with Ontologies, or CACAO, is "an annotation competition and educational effort" to get students interested in genetics and the analysis of genes, says Iddo Freidberg at Byte Size Biology. The project, which is run by researchers at Texas A&M University, pits teams of students from around the world against each other. Each team gets assigned a set of genes and has to employ any and all means to look them up and annotate them correctly. The scoring system, Friedberg says, is "deliciously cut-throat" as each team posts its results and then looks for errors in other teams' annotations — if team B find errors in team A's work, team B gets all of team A's points, Friedberg says. The researchers who run the competition are looking for students interesting in competing in the spring semester, he adds.

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.