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Democracy Brings Us Exciting Elections and Bargain-Basement Genetic Testing

Apparently Andrew Yates isn't the only one thinking that DTC genetic testing might be in trouble. 23andMe announced in a blog post that it was cutting its rates, and this story from the San Francisco Chronicle explains more about the company's decision to charge $399 instead of $999. "While the genome companies say they are empowering individuals who want more control over their own health care, critics have cautioned that most of the genetic information provided would make little real difference in decisions made by patients and their doctors," the article says. 23andMe, however, claims that this is simply a push to "democratize" personal genomics.

Not quite ready to be a man (or woman) of the people? Not to worry -- genome sequencing is developing its own caste system. Genetic Future's Daniel MacArthur blogs about Knome, "the current pinnacle of luxury personal genomics," which charges a hefty $350,000 to churn out your genome sequence.


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.